Neill Buchel murder trial: Accused recalls night housemate’s leg was found in lake
- Credit: Archant
One of the men accused of beating Neill Buchel to death has described the night his leg was found in a Dagenham lake as the “worst of his life”.
Although the dad-of-two’s body was not found until April 3, Scott Hunt, 42, of Braintree Road, Dagenham, told Blackfriars Crown Court this morning how a policeman allegedly second-guessed the news two days previously.
Buchel had last been seen alive on March 13 when his left thigh was found by young fisherman Liam Taylor in White Hart Lakes in The Chase, Dagenham, on April 1. The fisherman prodded it with a stick thinking it to be a dead fish.
“One of the police officers said we’d found Neill,” he said.
“It was all over Facebook that they’d found a leg.
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“That was the worst night of my life because Neill had been found dead.”
Hunt, who was arrested at about 3pm for being drunk and disorderly on the day Buchel died, was later found to have a spot of his housemate’s blood on the new T-shirt he had been issued by police upon release.
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“Unless evidence has been fabricated, I didn’t do this,” he added.
“I’ve watched enough CSI. If I had done anything [getting rid of the T-shirt] would have been the first thing I would have done.
After leaving Dagenham police station Hunt went to the house of co-accused Chas Quye, 36, of Stansgate Road, Dagenham, where a group a group including Elvis Kwiatowski, 36, of Clopton Close, Royston – also denying murder – were drinking.
When he arrived he saw Buchel on the floor, “absolutely mullered” with four empty vodka bottles on the table beside him, and told the court he asked him to leave with him four times, before attempting to drag to his feet.
Asked about the blood on his T-shirt he said: “That was from when I tried to pick him up.
“How could I, if I kicked someone to death, only have one spot of blood on my shoulder?”
Quye and Hunt were both arrested for murder on March 26 – later bailed – but not allowed to return to their homes for a few days while police carried out searches and installed listening devices.
In her cross-examination, prosecutor Sally O’Neill asked Hunt about a series of interchanges recorded in Quye’s flat, much of which he claimed not to remember.
“I was an alcoholic and drug user – I couldn’t remember things I said half an hour ago, but this was more than a year ago.”
The trial continues.