Woman allegedly shared '˜common purpose' with man who admits killing Robert Chester in his Northampton home, jury hears

A woman accused of murdering a man in his Northampton home made no effort to contact emergency services after a fire started in his property, a court heard.

Saturday, 2nd April 2016, 6:27 am
Updated Saturday, 2nd April 2016, 8:36 am
Northampton Crown Court

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

James House, prosecuting, said Mr Chester suffered eight stab wounds, including a fatal one to his chest. His body was then set alight after a fire was deliberately started in his house.

On the second day of the trial, the jury was told her co-defendant Karl Pound, aged 51, of Hunsbarrow Road, Northampton had pleaded guilty to murdering Mr Chester.

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When the trial resumed on Friday, James House, prosecuting, told the jury it was the prosecution’s case Cash shared a “common purpose” with Pound to kill Mr Chester.

He said: “The simple fact is they were both in this together. We cannot say if one or both actually stabbed Mr Chester but the actions of both before and after the killing shows they were both a party to what happened and both acted together.

“They shared a common purpose and acted in joint enterprise.”

Mr House said Cash made no effort to get help for Mr Chester and left his house with Pound knowing there was a fire in the back room.

He said Cash had “plenty of time to separate herself” from Pound after they left Mr Chester’s house and did not tell anyone about what had happened to Mr Chester until she was interviewed by the police.

On Wednesday the jury was told Cash told officers she had not spoken out because she was scared of Pound and said he had punched her.

Mr House said the fact they were arrested six hours after Mr Chester’s body was found in a “compromising position” together in a resident’s back garden suggested she was not scared of him.

Cash denies a charge of murder. The trial continues.