Page last updated at 19:19 GMT, Wednesday, 26 August 2009 20:19 UK

Captive boss's 'haunting' screams

Russell Carter
Russell Carter is accused of killing his boss in a row over unpaid wages

An office worker has told a murder trial he heard his boss's "haunting" screams while they were held captive.

Lorry driver Russell Carter, 52, of Cardiff, denies murdering Kingsley Monk and the attempted murder of three other Driverline 247 employees in Torfaen.

Gethin Heal told Newport Crown Court he was tied up in the toilet and could hear Mr Monk. He later found his body.

He said: "Kingsley was screaming for us to help him... It was terrible." The case is continuing.

The court heard Mr Carter used cable ties and rope to bind Mr Monk and colleagues Gethin Heal, Nathan Taylor and Robert Lewis during a four-hour ordeal at an industrial unit.

Mr Heal, 42, told the jury of his experiences during the incident last October.

He was the first to arrive at work on the day and said Mr Carter had entered the offices behind him.

When he turned around he said the defendant was pointing a gun at him and threatened to kill him unless he did what he said.

I heard a couple of bangs - I thought it was a gun and then I heard a muffled scream from Kingsley
Gethin Heal

"He also said that it was Kingsley that he wanted and not me," said Mr Heal.

He told the jury that at one point while he was tied around his wrists and feet and locked into the toilet of the premises, he could hear Mr Monk's screams coming from the main office.

"Kingsley was screaming for us to help him - it sounded like he was being pushed about, banged against a wall," he said.

"I heard a couple of bangs - I thought it was a gun and then I heard a muffled scream from Kingsley.

"The sounds were haunting, it was terrible, I've never heard anything like that before."

Driving licence

He also told the court how Mr Carter regularly checked on him.

"Russell came back to where I was, he had a handkerchief in his hand and was wiping blood from his face and his shirt was covered in blood," he said.

Kingsley Monk
Kingsley Monk was a company director of recruitment agency Driverline 247

Mr Heal said he managed to phone emergency services at the beginning of his ordeal but because of his poor hearing and the phone's volume being turned up, Mr Carter heard the operator's voice.

"He said 'I told you not to do anything'," said Mr Heal. "He went and got the duct tape roll and put it around my head and face two or three times. It was over my nose and I could hardly breathe.

"He told me 'I warned you not to do anything'. I honestly thought he was going to kill me."

Mr Heal told the court Mr Carter also grabbed his wallet and saw his driving licence inside.

The jury was told Mr Carter had said: "I know where you live now."

Mr Heal said: "It frightened me because I knew my wife was finishing work early that day."

He described how he heard Mr Carter escape before hearing the sounds of a fire in the Driverline 247 office.

He then struggled to free himself - and found Mr Monk's body on the office floor.

'Aggressive'

Mr Heal and the two other workmates managed to escape the building before the fire spread.

Mr Heal said he had never met Mr Carter before the incident although he had spoken to him a number of times over the phone.

He said during one call the defendant became aggressive after being told he would be docked money from his wages for an accident he was involved in.

"I managed to calm him down after I said I would guarantee him three to four shifts a week," he said.

"As far as I was concerned, we had sorted something out."

Earlier, prosecutor David Aubrey QC told the court that Mr Carter believed he was owed £3,000 in withheld wages.

The court heard as workers arrived one-by-one, he ordered them to tie themselves up, then threw petrol over them, holding a cigarette lighter and said: "I will kill you."

Father-of-two Mr Monk was then taken at gunpoint into the main office away from the office where the three other staff were tied up.

Mr Aubrey said: "He was talking to him about money. Mr Monk was asking him 'what do you want?'

"Carter was heard saying 'you owe me £3,000. I'm not leaving until I get it'."

The jury heard Mr Monk suggested transferring the money online and Mr Taylor was untied to carry out the transaction.

Father-of-two Mr Carter allegedly put £2,500 into his own account but gave instructions for money to be paid into other drivers' accounts to cover his tracks.

It is alleged Mr Carter throttled Mr Monk, probably with his own tie.

A pathologist's report found he suffered pressure to the neck.

The trial is expected to last up to three weeks.



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