A MAN accused of murder asked police whether he was being arrested just because he was a former solider and trained killer, a court heard.

Martin Dines, 56, died in St Mary’s Car Park in Balkerne Hill, Colchester, in April.

Heidi Kennedy, 47, Darren Miller, 46, and Mark Hartley, 32, are jointly charged with his murder.

It is alleged Mr Dines was attacked in Head Street, Crouch Street and in the car park by the group.

The trio were arrested together at Hartley’s flat in New Kiln Road, Colchester, on the day Mr Dines was found.

At Ipswich Crown Court, Brian O’Neill QC, representing Miller, said when taken into custody Hartley had initially asked: “Am I getting arrested for murder, because I’m Army?

“So it is all going to come back on me because I am a trained killer?”

He then told police he suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, alcoholism and cirrhosis of the liver and it was not uncommon for him to drink two or three bottles of vodka per day.

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When asked whether he wanted anyone to know he had been arrested, Mr O’Neill said Hartley had replied: “Not just yet - I’m going to get the British Army to come and sort me out.

“I used to kill people in war for this country and now I’m getting accused of killing a civilian?

“It is disgusting.

“I’m going to get the army down here - they will fight this.”

Richard Sutton QC said Hartley’s comments had been said over a period of nearly an hour when he was being booked into custody and suggested he was drunk at the time he made them.

He also confirmed police found a crack pipe on Miller when he was arrested.

Hartley was transferred to Broomfield Hospital for four days after his arrest after his alcohol withdrawals became a medical emergency.

When he returned to custody a police sergeant noted Hartley had threatened to smash his head into the cell wall because “he knew he was going to prison.”

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Kennedy, of Queen Elizabeth Way, Colchester, Miller, of no fixed address, and Hartley all deny murder.

But Miller has admitted to Mr Dines’ manslaughter while Kennedy has admitted assaulting Lisa Peck on the same night.

The trial has now been adjourned until Monday.