Barrister for woman accused of murdering Northampton man says case against her is “speculative”

Crown Court GV
Crown Court GV

The defence barrister for a Northampton woman accused of murdering a man has told a jury the case against her is “speculative and circumstantial”.

Mary Cash, aged 39, of no fixed abode, is currently on trial at Northampton Crown Court charged with the murder of Robert Chester in his home in Rothersthorpe Road on October 8 last year.

Mr Chester’s body was found by firefighters who were called out to deal with a blaze at his property.

Forensic analysis of Mr Chester’s body shows he suffered eight stab wounds.

On the second day of the trial, the jury were told that Karl Pound, of Hunsbarrow Road, Briar Hill, Northampton, had pleaded guilty to Mr Chester’s murder.

On Thursday, the jury heard speeches from prosecution barrister James House and defence barrister Jonas Hankin.

Summing up the Crown’s case, Mr House said Cash was “as much a party to the murder of Mr Chester as Pound was”.

Mr House said: “Karl Pound and Mary Cash were jointly responsible for the murder of Robert Chester. Pound has admitted it and it is the prosecution’s case Cash participated or, at the very least, encouraged the killing of Mr Chester.”

Mr House highlighted the fact Cash had “ample opportunity” to inform someone about the murder but did not do so until she was interviewed by police the day after Mr Chester’s body was found.

In his closing speech, Mr Hankin told the jury the case against Cash was not strong enough to convict her of murder.

He said: “It is for the prosection to prove what Mary Cash did, not for her to explain her decision making.

“The prosecution’s case is speculative and circumstantial and over-reliant on events that occurred after the killing.”

Cash denies a charge of murder. The jury is expected to be sent out to consider a verdict later today.