Jamie McMahon case: Accused denies murder 'to the day I die'

Jamie McMahon Image copyright Northamptonshire Police
Image caption Jamie McMahon's body was found just before 08:00 BST by a passer-by

The man accused of killing a barman in a churchyard has admitted being present but told police he would deny murder "to the day I die", a court has heard.

Snooker club worker Jamie McMahon, 26, suffered head injuries in an attack in the grounds of St Giles' Church in the centre of Northampton in October.

Michael Francis, 33, of St James Road in the town, denies robbery and murder.

Northampton Crown Court heard he told detectives another man was responsible but has declined to name him.

'Fists flying'

The jury were read transcripts from Mr Francis' police interviews.

The court heard he admitted being present but told detectives: "I didn't murder him - I'll stand by that to the day I die."

The jury were told Mr Francis said he and the second man went into town to ask people for cigarettes as neither of them had money.

The court heard they sat down beside Mr McMahon on a bench in the churchyard.

When they asked Mr McMahon for a cigarette he told them "something like, 'Jog on'", the jury heard, and at that point a fight broke out.

The court was told Mr Francis saw "fists flying" and he claimed he tried to calm things down.

He told detectives he picked up Mr McMahon's wallet from the ground and then he saw the barman on the ground being kicked, the jury heard.

The court was told he checked to see if the 26-year-old was breathing and he and the second man left, dumping the wallet.

A 19-year-old man from Northampton has pleaded guilty to robbery and murder.

The trial continues.

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