Pair who deny murdering man in his Northampton home ‘had victim’s blood on their clothes’, court hears

Robert Chester's body was found in his home in Rothersthorpe Road, Northampton, after emergency services were called out to a fire
Robert Chester's body was found in his home in Rothersthorpe Road, Northampton, after emergency services were called out to a fire

A man and a woman blame each other for the murder of a 54-year-old man in his Northampton home, a court heard.

Mary Cash, aged 39, and Karl Pound, aged 51, are currently on trial at Northampton Crown Court after they were charged with the murder of Robert Chester.

Mary Cash and Karl Pound are currently on trial accused of murdering Robert Chester in his home in Rothersthorpe Road

Mary Cash and Karl Pound are currently on trial accused of murdering Robert Chester in his home in Rothersthorpe Road

Mr Chester’s body was found in his home in Rothersthorpe Road, Northampton, on October 8 last year after emergency services were called out to a fire at the property.

James House, prosecuting, said it was the Crown’s case Mr Chester was killed after he was stabbed “multiple times” and a fire was then deliberately started to destroy any evidence of his murder.

Mr House said: “The prosecution’s case, and what both defendants also accept, is that they were both present when Mr Chester was stabbed.

“The defendants both accept Mr Chester was murdered.

Robert Chester's body was found at his home in Rothersthorpe Road, Northampton on October 8, 2015

Robert Chester's body was found at his home in Rothersthorpe Road, Northampton on October 8, 2015

“Mary Cash says it was Karl Pound who committed the murder and she was not involved.

“Karl Pound says the opposite and says she acted alone without any involvement or encouragement from him.

“It is the prosecution’s case they were both involved in the murder, either in participating or encouraging.”

The jury was shown CCTV footage of Mr Chester, accompanied by Cash and Pound, buying alcohol from the Co-Op store opposite his house at 9.15am on the day of his alleged murder.

Mr House said Mr Chester’s neighbour went outside the back of his property at about 11.15am to smoke a cigarette and saw Pound

and Cash through a rear window.

He said the neighbour made eye contact with Pound and formed the impression he looked startled to have been seen.

The court heard the neighbour then left his property at 11.40am and said there was no sign of a fire.

A fire crew were called out to Rothersthorpe at midday after a member of staff at Delapre Primary School saw smoke billowing out of an upstairs window of Mr Chester’s house.

Mr House said Cash and Pound were captured on CCTV cameras buying alcohol in the Costcutters store in St Leonards Road and then in another store in Delapre Crescent.

He said the pair stopped at St Mary’s Church in Abbey Road and Pound knocked on the door of the vicarage as he knew the parish priest.

The court heard Pound asked the priest if Cash could use his shower. The priest refused but did give Pound some money and made some cheese sandwiches for the pair of them

The jury was told Cash and Pound were arrested at about 6pm after they were found with their “trousers pulled down and legs entwined” in a garden in Towcester Road.

They were initially arrested for a public order offence but were later charged with murder.

Cash said in a police interview that Pound had stabbed Mr Chester due to an argument over a £10 note.

Pound said Cash had killed Mr Chester as she had “a bad temper” when she was drunk.

Mr House said a plastic bag Pound had been carrying when he was arrested contained a knife and a towel with blood on it.

The jury was told DNA from the blood matched that of Mr Chester. Officers also found another knife in St Mary’s churchyard which had blood that matched Mr Chester’s DNA.

Mr House said analysis of Pound’s clothes revealed blood that matched Mr Chester’s DNa on his trainer, jumper and jacket.

A top that had been worn by Cash and found at Mr Chester’s house, also had blood matching his DNA.

Cash, of no fixed abode, and Pound, of Hunsbarrow Road, Briar Hill, Northampton, both deny murder. The trial continues.

UPDATE Karl Pound pleaded guilty to murder on Thursday.