Neill Buchel trial: Accused admits that he can’t remember night of murder

Neill Buchel's dismembered body was found in White Hart Lakes in The Chase, Dagenham

Neill Buchel's dismembered body was found in White Hart Lakes in The Chase, Dagenham - Credit: Archant

One of the men accused of stamping and kicking Neill Buchel to death has admitted that he cannot remember the night the father-of-two was killed.

Summarising the case in defence of Elvis Kwiatkowski, who pleads not guilty to murder, David Spens QC told Blackfriars Court that his client’s alcohol-induced intoxication on the night of Mr Buchel’s death was one of the reasons that he did not take to the witness box.

The lawyer read aloud a conversation recorded by police on March 27, when an arrested Mr Kwiatowksi, 36, of Clopton Close, Royston, was being transferred to Freshwharf Custody Suite in Barking.

He told officers about a drinking session with Mr Buchel and fellow accused Chas Quye, 36, of Stansgate Road, Dagenham, and Scott ‘Gary’ Hunt, 42, of Braintree Road, Dagenham, on the afternoon of March 13, hours before Mr Buchel was killed

“I remember getting down there, I was p***ed,” he said. “There was a big fellow that Chas called Gary – he had a goatee beard.

“I can’t remember anything else from that afternoon [March 13] until waking up at Chas’s house the next morning.”

Although Mr Spens admitted to the jury that Kwiatkowski “can’t say for certain that he didn’t carry out the fatal assault”, he had no serious violence in his history, only a conviction for shoplifting dating from 2010 and two further cautions for carrying an offensive weapon and common assault.

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“If he was truly a violent man as the prosecution have suggested, wouldn’t you have expected more violence of a serious nature in his past?” he said.

The defence lawyer later read out a conversation between Mr Buchel’s daughter, Megan, and Quye in the days following her father’s murder.

“She went around to see Mr Quye and asked him to be straight with her about her father’s disappearance,” explained Mr Spens.

“According to Megan Buchel, these were Mr Quye’s exact words:

“‘Ok then, I’ll be straight with you. Elvis [Kwiatkowski] may be a drunken bum, but he never hurt him.”

Mr Buchel’s body was found in pieces in White Hart Lakes in The Chase, Rush Green on March 21.

The trial continues.