Norwich Rose Lane murder accused 'three wise monkeys'

Two men on trial for a murder in Norwich are "three wise monkeys" who claim they "saw no evil, heard no evil and did no evil", a jury has heard.

Anton St Paul, 22, and Anthony Obariase, 28, both of Newham, east London, deny the murder of Honorato Alberto Christiovao, 54.

He was attacked in a car park in Rose Lane, Norwich, in February last year.

In his closing speech at Norwich Crown Court, prosecutor Simon Spence said they were not "unwitting stooges".

The court was told Mr Christovao was lured to the car park on 10 February by drug gang members from London who wanted revenge for an earlier kidnap and attack.

Gang leader Spencer Yiadom, who has admitted murder, had been driven from London by Mr Obariase, with Mr St Paul and two other men also in the car, the court heard.

'Enormous risk'

Mr Spence said: "Each is being a wise monkey. Mr Obariase is saying 'I saw no evil because I was sitting in the car at the time'.

"Both are saying 'I heard no evil...' [when plans were discussed] and they both do no evil because they didn't take part in the assault."

Mr Spence questioned why Yiadom would run the "enormous risk" of using "unwitting stooges".

Gregory Perrins, for Mr Obariase, of Norwich Road, said the IT undergraduate was "deliberately used" by the gang.

He had been paid £200 for the drive, which did not tally with him being a gang member, Mr Perrins argued.

'Extreme distress'

When arrests were made, his was the only account that remained consistent and he "did not shy away from police", the court heard.

Tom Forster, for Mr St Paul, said the fact he saw the attack "does not connect with guilt".

A description of Mr Christiovao's attackers did not correspond to his appearance, which "rules him out as a player", he added.

Mr St Paul, of Keogh Road, could not have reported the attack because the "repercussions would be extreme", but he eventually went to police in "extreme distress" in March, the jury heard.

"This was a frightened, pressurised young man who had nothing to gain," said Mr Forster.

Yiadom, 22, of Saville Road, Newham, and Lucy Browne, 35, of Borrowdale Drive, Norwich, who has admitted manslaughter for luring Mr Christovao to the car park, are due to be sentenced at a later date.

The jury is expected to retire on Wednesday.

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