Murder trial: One defendant described as a “teddy bear” by his common law wife

Sonny Grey

Sonny Grey - Credit: Archant

A MAN from Wisbech accused of murdering a pensioner by pouring hot water over him was described a “teddy bear” by his common law wife during a trial at Nottingham Crown Court.

Stephanie Lawrence said she had no idea that her partner Robert Holmes made his living from stealing cars and scrap metal - and said he “wouldn’t hurt a fly.”

Holmes, 24, of Redmoor Lane, Wisbech, and Rocky Curtis, 25, of Newbridge Lane, Wisbech, allegedly beat and tortured 70-year-old Sonny Grey in October 2011 before fleeing his Lincoln home with cash and jewellery. Both deny murder.

A post mortem showed Mr Grey had 46 separate or groups of injuries to his body. It is alleged that Mr Grey had boiling water poured over him, and one of his fingers was held in boiling water to make him reveal where he had hidden his savings.

This week the jury heard that the two defendants were serial car thieves. Prosecutor Peter Joyce QC alleged that Holmes and Curtis - along with Curtis’ late brother Tom - had been seen near Mr Grey’s home on the day of the attack. Curtis and Holmes said they had been looking for cars.


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Holmes told the jury that the three made their living stealing cars and scrap metal around the country and had been on hundreds of raids.

DC Simon Rust, who has worked in Wisbech since the 1990s, identified Curtis on CCTV images captured at a service station in a car which was seen near Mr Grey’s home at the time of the attack.

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The jury was told that Curtis and Holmes had changed the number plate on their getaway car after the attack. But the defence claim that although Thomas Curtis’ car was in the area on the night of the crime, there was no evidence that the defendants had been in it.

The trial continues.

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