Murder trial told of knife in getaway car

Gazette: Murder scene: Flats in Parkside Quarter, Colchester where Thomas Brittain was killed Murder scene: Flats in Parkside Quarter, Colchester where Thomas Brittain was killed

BLOOD stains and a knife were found in a getaway car used by two men accused of murder, a court heard.

Amy Nicholson had driven Andre Vella and Jack Hummerstone to Charles House in Parkside Quarter, Colchester on March 9 this year.

She waited near the flats in her Ford Fiesta and they ran back to the car about ten minutes later.

Hummerstone told her to drive and she asked what had happened he replied: " Just drive."

Prosecutors say Hummerstone, 18, and Vella, 19, stabbed Thomas Brittain to death in a third floor flat.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard Miss Nicholson’s car stopped at the BP Garage in Weeley, but the men were not with her.

Prosecutors allege they did not want to be seen on the petrol station's CCTV cameras.
They waited at Weeley Crematorium, where a groundsman discovered a black balaclava a couple of days later and told police.

Hummerstone's DNA was found when forensics examined it later on.

Miss Nicholson's car was also given a detailed forensic check and police found a green handled knife hidden behind the back seat.

One of Vella's fingerprints was found on it.

A dark stain on the back seat matched Mr Brittain's blood.

It later emerged Vella had allegedly told Miss Nicholson to clean the car.

Anthony Prosser, prosecuting, told the jury Miss Nicholson was reluctant to talk to police when she was first quizzed but she later told officers about her involvement.

She said she knew Hummersone as Jack O'Reilly and had agreed to drive him and Vella to the scene in Colchester.

Another car involved in the case was traced to Vella's cousin.

It had picked up Vella and Hummerstone at Plough Corner near Little Clacton and dropped them off later at the Mill Lane car park in Walton.

More forensic tests revealed traces of Hummerstone's blood on the rear seat.

Police found the murder weapon - a black handled kitchen knife - under some clothing in the hall of the flat.

Mr Brittain's blood was on the knife, the court heard.

The jury have been told it is not known which teenager had wielded the knife that killed Mr Brittain.

<li> The trial continues.

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