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Homeless drug addict Mark Titley 'stabbed friend Gary Hayes to death in Lincoln'

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: December 06, 2012

Victim: Gary Hayes

A homeless drug addict stabbed a friend to death after they argued while returning from a theft expedition, a jury has heard.

Mark Titley is alleged to have murdered Gary Hayes, 44, as they walked back to Mr Hayes' flat after stealing bread and milk from Lincoln County Hospital.

Paul Mann, prosecuting at Lincoln Crown Court, told the jury on Wednesday that the two men, together with a friend, Ben Freeston, took drugs at Mr Hayes' home in Walnut Place, Lincoln, before all three set off in the early hours to steal.

The three filled bags and a rucksack but on the way back argued about who should carry which bag.

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Titley is alleged to have turned on Mr Hayes, then headbutted and punched him before stabbing him. They continued to walk before Mr Hayes collapsed as they reached Portland Street.

An ambulance was called but he was pronounced dead at Lincoln County Hospital.

Mr Mann said: "Gary Hayes was stabbed to death. He was walking on Kesteven Street in the direction of Portland Street. He was stabbed in the chest. The blade passed through the ribs and punctured his heart.

“The prosecution say that the person who stabbed Gary Hayes was this defendant Mark Titley.”Mr Hayes met up with both Titley and Freeston earlier in the day and had allowed them to stay at his flat. The jury was told that Freeston was also initially arrested for murder after leaving the scene following the arrival of the ambulance. He was detained at Mr Hayes’ flat where he had gone to clean himself up and collect his belongings. Freeston, 32, told the jury that he did not see Titley with a knife but moments after the altercation noticed that Mr Hayes was bleeding. He said he assisted Mr Hayes and tried to stop the flow of blood before paramedics arrived. Freeston said: “I done what I could to save that bloke’s life. I tried my hardest. I couldn’t have done any more. I didn’t think he’d died. I didn’t think it was that serious.” He admitted he lied at first by claiming the attack was inflicted by a stranger who suddenly appeared on the scene and then ran off. But he told the jury he lied because he did not want to “grass up” Titley. “I’ve done that much time in jail that I know not to grass,” he said. Titley, 38, of Monks Road, Lincoln, denies murder on April 14 this year. The trial continues.

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