Lauren Malt murder trial hears from boyfriend Arthur Marnell as dad Nigel Malt stands accused of West Winch murder
The Lauren Malt murder trial has heard her boyfriend claim that Nigel Malt tried to run him over moments before the fatal collision.
Arthur Marnell was under re-examination by prosecutor Andrew Jackson on Monday, the third day of the case being heard at Norwich Crown Court.
Nigel Malt, 44, of Lynn, is accused of murdering his 19-year-old daughter by knocking her down in a car and then running over her body twice – once in reverse and then again going forwards.
Mr Jackson was asking Mr Marnell about the moments immediately prior to Lauren being knocked down in Leete Way, West Winch, at about 7.20pm on January 23.
“Were you in the road or on the pavement?” asked Mr Jackson.
“I’m not sure,” said Mr Marnell.
“Did you see [Malt] put the car into reverse?” said the prosecutor.
“I don’t know,” was the reply.
Mr Jackson asked: “Where was Lauren?”
“I don’t know,” said Mr Marnell again.
Mr Marnell said that his recollection was “all blurry” and things happened “quick”, earlier telling the jury that he had tried to put events from that night out of his mind.
The jury was reshown CCTV footage of the front of a house owned by Lauren’s maternal grandmother, where she and her mother were living at the time.
Mr Marnell was staying there as the couple were babysitting while Lauren’s mum, Karen, was at work at the village shop.
Malt is seen pulling on to the drive and getting out of the Mercedes. Two other figures – said to be Lauren and Mr Marnell – are in the vicinity of the car.
The trial had previously heard that Malt did not like Lauren’s boyfriend and had been drinking heavily.
Mr Marnell was asked by the prosecutor: “Do you think he tried to run you over?”
“Yeah,” replied Mr Marnell.
“What did you do?” he was asked.
“Run,” he replied.
Mr Marnell agreed that it was then that he ran to hide on the roof of a neighbour’s shed or conservatory.
The CCTV footage, filmed in darkness, then shows Malt reversing away from the house and hitting a tree before driving off slowly, followed by Lauren walking behind.
The collision moments later is out of shot but several neighbours – including Mr Marnell – are seen running towards the location.
Earlier, defence barrister Allison Summers suggested to Mr Marnell that he had either been lying or got things wrong when he claimed in a police interview shown to the jury last Friday that Malt had chased him “from alleyway to alleyway” with a crowbar and Mr Marnell had sought refuge on a roof.
Mr Marnell confirmed that it had happened.
Another witness – neighbour Margaret Smith – claimed she had seen Malt chasing Mr Marnell with the tool.
Miss Summers said the CCTV evidence available did not support the claim.
Mrs Smith’s account to police had been shown to the jury.
She said she opened the door of her house after hearing a “kerfuffle” and arguing outside but remained there when she saw Malt holding the crowbar.
When she later heard the “thud” of Lauren being knocked down around a corner and out of sight, she made her way to the scene.
Mrs Smith described Malt as being an emotional “mess” and urged him not to move Lauren.
“He asked [an] old lady if she could help to get Lauren in the car but she wouldn’t,” she said. “He grabbed her that quick to get her in the car.
“He just said he’s got to get her to A&E.”
“He kept saying that?” said the detective.
“Yes. He drove quite erratically when he went,” replied Mrs Smith.
She added that Lauren’s boyfriend went to pick up a trainer of hers from in the road but Mrs Smith told him to leave it there.
Malt, of Lynn Road, denies murder. The trial continues.