Murder accused says he took picture of injured alleged victim to put on Facebook

Murder accused Wayne Miller told a court he was acting in self-defence and said he took a photograph of his bloodied and injured alleged victim because he had planned to post it on Facebook.

Miller is alleged to have punched, kicked and/or stamped Andrew Mather to death in his home but he told jurors he was just defending himself.

Prosecutors say Miller attacked Mr Mather once then returned later that night to inflict more violence.

He claims Mr Mather had attacked him on both occasions after trouble flared over his alleged behaviour to Miller’s girlfriend, Naomi Mather.

But prosecutors put it to Miller it was “miraculous” that the only injuries he suffered were to his fists.

After the first attack, Miller took what prosecutors described as a “trophy” photograph of his injured victim lying on his back, injured and bloodied, which the court has been shown.

Asked why he took it, he told Newcastle Crown Court: “I was going to put it on Facebook to tell them what he had done.”

Alistair MacDonald QC, for Miller, asked why he had deleted it and he said: “Because I know you can’t put something like that on Facebook. I changed my mind.”

Miller, who admitted having a substantial number of previous convictions, told jurors he cannot read and struggles with complex language.

He said he was aware there was some bad feeling between Mr Mather and his brother, Joseph, who is Naomi’s dad, but said it was no concern of his.

He told the court that on June 2, after he finished work, he went to buy alcohol and went to Naomi’s home.

Miller said Naomi found out her mum, Vicky, was at Mr Mather’s home in Sunderland and they decided to go there to see her.

Miller said he had no bad feelings towards Mr Mather at that stage and had forgotten about a previous incident when Mr Mather had asked Naomi, his niece, to sit on his knee, which he said at the time he thought was “weird and strange”.

At the house, he told jurors Mather asked Naomi for a hug and claimed he touched her bottom.

Miller said: “Omi (Naomi) got a shock then after that he asked her to sit on his lap or his knee.

“After that I said I told Omi ‘no don’t’. She didn’t want to, she just looked shocked.

“She told him ‘I’m a bit too old to be sitting on your knee’.

“After that she moved away from him, she came behind me and I told Omi we were going home.

“Then Andrew jumped up wanting to kiss Omi. She didn’t want to. I put my hand out and said ‘woah’.

“He started turning aggressive, getting angry. Then he started punching into me.”

Miller said he was hit three of four times to the head and he started fighting back and punched him.

He said they ended up on the floor, fighting.

Miller said: “I was trying to get him off me, punching him.

“When he stopped fighting back, I got off him.”

Miller, who said he was worried Mr Mather had a weapon, was asked about two photographs which were on his phone, that he had deleted.

One, taken at 7.53pm, showed Naomi’s mum lying on the bed with her eyes closed with Mr Mather in the background, sitting on the edge of the bed with his head in his hands.

A second, taken at 8.49pm, showed an injured Mr Mather with “damage to his face and is blood-stained”.

Miller said he remembered taking it at the top of the landing.

Miller said Mr Mather moved after the picture was taken and his eyes were open and said he was breathing when him and Naomi left the house. He said he put him in the recovery position.

He admitted taking Mr Mather’s CCTV system when he left, saying he “just panicked”.

Miller said they went to Naomi’s house and he got changed because his clothes had blood on them.

He said he decided to go back to Mr Mather’s flat, alone, to get Naomi’s mum “in case he was angry and took it out on her”.

Miller was asked why he didn’t mention in his defence statement that he had returned to Mr Mather’s house.

He said he hadn’t mentioned it because of the fact Mr Mather’s body was naked when it was discovered and he was worried people in prison would think there was a sexual element to what had happened and that they would “take the mick” and wouldn’t like it.

He said when he went back into the house, Mr Mather was no longer on the landing, where he had left him.

Miller said Mr Mather, who was down the bottom of the bed, was fuming and still bleeding.

He claimed Mr Mather attacked him again and said he kicked him once in the face after he grabbed his foot.

Miller claimed Mr Mather started to kick out and he grabbed him and “his shorts came sliding off him” and he was not wearing anything else.

Miller said the next morning, he and Naomi’s mum, Vicky, went to check if Mr Mather was alright. He said Vicky went inside and found Mr Mather.

He said: “She came out crying, she said he was not moving and she thought he was dead. She said his lips were purple I was in shock.”

Miller said he then rang 999 from a phone box saying he was concerned about Mr Mather.

He denied intending to cause really serious harm and claimed he was acting in self-defence

Prosecutor Toby Hedworth QC, cross-examining, suggested Miller had been “stamping on his voice box”.

When Miller denied doing it, Mr Hedworth said: “Well it wasn’t the fairies, was it?”

Miller replied: “It could have been caused in the fight but I didn’t stamp on him.”

Mr Hedworth accused him of telling “one lie after another” and of being “desperate to avoid any responsibility for what you did that evening”.

The prosecutor told him to look at the picture he had taken of Mr Mather’s injuries and asked: “Are you seriously suggesting the man you took a picture of was in a position to attack you a second time an hour later.” He replied: “Yes.”

Mr Hedworth said it was “miraculous” Miller only ended up with injuries to his fists when he said he had been attacked twice.

He said: “You hurt your fists so much the first time, it’s easier to use your feet the second time, kicking and stamping on him?” Miller replied: “No.”

Miller, 32, of Dene Street, Sunderland, denies murdering Mr Mather, who was 48.

The trial continues.

Chronicle Live – Sunderland