During a murder trial at Caernarfon Crown Court, it was revealed that a dying grandmother mouthed the word “lying” after she was thrown onto the street by a homeowner who mistook her for a thief.
The accused, David Redfern, 46, had called 999 for medical help after he had beaten Margaret Barnes, 71, to death.
Mrs. Barnes had mistakenly entered Mr. Redfern’s five-storey seaside home in Barmouth, Wales, believing it to be a B&B.
The court heard that Mrs. Barnes had bought a bottle of gin and had been on an evening walk in July last year.
She had undressed, unpacked, taken out her false teeth, and put them on a bedside table before pouring a gin into a glass while holding a bottle of tonic.
She then got into a bed before being discovered by Mr. Redfern, who dragged her downstairs by her feet before attacking her and throwing her suitcase into the road.
Mrs. Barnes went into cardiac arrest as neighbors tried to resuscitate her, and she died at the scene from “traumatic injuries.”
A post-mortem examination revealed that she had a traumatic liver injury and was bleeding extensively internally.
The court heard that her injuries were similar to those expected in a high-speed road crash. Prosecutors argued that Mrs. Barnes suffered an “utterly gratuitous” and “totally unjustified” attack by Mr. Redfern.
Mr. Redfern denied hearing Mrs. Barnes say “lying” with her last breaths and claimed that he had mistaken her for a thief.
In a recording played in court, he said, “all I have done is eject her from my house” as he sought medical help for Mrs. Barnes.
He denied being an aggressive person and claimed that the situation had been “out of control.” He asked the detectives, “How would you react to someone breaking into your house and sitting in your bed?”
Mrs. Barnes had simply mistaken Mr. Redfern’s large seafront home, called Belmont House, for her hotel after traveling over 100 miles to a seaside resort for a break.
She had booked into the Wavecrest B&B, several doors away on Marine Parade, Barmouth, after traveling from Birmingham.
Belmont House, on the same street, was a former hotel being renovated by Mr. Redfern and his partner Nicola Learoyd-Lewis.
The trial is expected to last about three weeks.