London

Martin Thomas death: Accused teen 'left hat at murder scene'

A youth was implicated in the murder of a 39-year-old man after a drop of blood was found on a hat he left at the scene, a court has been told.

The 16-year-old boy is accused of stabbing Martin Thomas five times during a robbery at the victim's home in Roehampton, south-west London.

The boy was seen going into the house, last April, wearing a distinctive deerstalker hat, the Old Bailey heard.

Jurors were told this was found in the hallway with the victim's blood on it.

The 16-year-old had also left blood from a cut on his right index finger around the house, including in the stairwell of the house, the court heard.

Phone calls

The defendant, who was 15 at the time of the murder and is from Putney, south London, is on trial along with two others, a 14-year-old boy, who was 13 at the time of the death, and 20-year-old Odel Munroe, of Wandsworth High Street, south-west London.

They all deny Mr Thomas's murder and robbing him of a phone, laptop and video camera.

Prosecutor Jonathan Rees QC said the 16-year-old had exchanged a series of calls and texts with the victim - a "quiet" and "private" gay man - in the days leading up to the killing.

He said Mr Thomas, who went to the same college as Munroe, had contacted the boy five times on 19 April, once on the 20th, six times on 21 April and four times on the day of the murder. It was unclear what the contact was about, Mr Rees said.

The prosecutor said the 16-year-old defendant had been spotted by a neighbour and caught on CCTV wearing the deerstalker before the murder, while the other two defendants were seen crouching behind a car before running into the home.

The trial continues.

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