Devon

Dartmoor Prison murder accused 'may have been framed'

Alexander Cusworth Image copyright Devon and Cornwall Police
Image caption Alexander Cusworth was serving an eight-year sentence for assault when he was killed

A convicted killer on trial for allegedly stabbing a fellow inmate to death at Dartmoor Prison may have been framed, a court has heard.

William Tolcher, 51, is accused of attacking Alex Cusworth, 37, with a prison issue kitchen knife used for cooking last November.

His defence lawyer questioned why Tolcher would use a knife specifically issued to him if he planned to kill.

Tolcher denies murder at Plymouth Crown Court.

Richard Smith QC asked the jury to consider whether someone else might have framed Tolcher while he was on his break. There was no CCTV covering the area at the time.

Liverpudlian Tolcher was convicted of murdering a woman in Newquay, Cornwall, in 1996 and was serving a life sentence, the court heard.

The jury has previously been told there had been no conversation between Tolcher and Cusworth before the attack, and it was suggested the victim had said something earlier which Tolcher had taken offence to.

The trial continues.

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