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Man denies murder of resident in Pool hostel

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 04, 2012

Truro Crown Court

A man living in a homeless hostel has appeared in court charged with murdering a fellow resident using his hands and feet as "weapons", writes Petra Mann.

Somes Simon Peter McFarland, 28, admits carrying out the assault on Peter Oates, 51, but says he has no memory of the incident, Truro Crown Court heard yesterday.

He denies one count of murdering Mr Oates, who died from a head injury.

The attack happened during the early hours of March 25 this year at the Henley House hostel, Fore Street, Pool, near Redruth, owned by Coastal Housing.

McFarland, who suffers from Asperger's syndrome, had been living there for just three weeks prior to the assault on Mr Oates, who was an alcoholic.

Paul Dunkels, QC, prosecuting, said on the night of March 24, McFarland had been out at a barbecue and returned to the hostel drunk.

He said the defendant had "squared-up" to other residents before going to Mr Oates' room where another resident called Warren Gill arrived.

He said the defendant first attacked Mr Gill and wrapped his hands around his neck, saying: "This is how you show respect" and "I am a killer".

McFarland then turned on Mr Oates while Mr Gill was still in the room.

Mr Dunkels said: "He struck Mr Oates around the head, stamped on his chest and squeezed his neck.

"It was a sustained and determined assault in which he used nothing more as a weapon than his own hands and feet."

McFarland is said to have left Mr Oates alive in the room before returning on several occasions.

The trips were caught on CCTV cameras.

Prosecutors say he last entered the room at around 3.20am when Mr Oates was captured on film letting him in.

Six minutes later the defendant is seen leaving the room and it is claimed during this time he murdered Mr Oates.

The body was found around ten hours later, the court heard.

The case continues.

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