Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Douglas murder accused 'shocked by fires'

Terry Losh
Image caption Terry Losh was found dead by fire crews at a house in Douglas

A man accused of murdering a 61-year-old in an arson attack appeared shocked by reports of a series of fires near his Isle of Man home, a court heard.

Simon Leece, 35, from Fairfield Terrace, Douglas, denies murdering builder Terence Losh, who was found dead in Demesne Road in Douglas last March.

Mr Leech also denies arson with intent to endanger life and damage property.

He was described as "sweet and pleasant" by a former colleague at Douglas Courthouse on Friday.

Mr Leece is accused of starting fires at four properties, including 19 Demesne Road where Mr Losh was killed.

Newspaper reports

Rebecca Foster, who worked with Mr Leece for three years at Age Concern in Ramsey, gave evidence at Douglas Courthouse on Friday.

"The clients loved him," she told the court.

"We discussed the fires at work after reading about them in the paper."

Asked what Mr Leece's response had been, she replied: "He seemed as shocked as we were, especially because he lived so close to the properties."

The court also heard evidence from Mr Leece's former landlady Helen Planeta, who said he was always "smartly dressed and well turned out" and kept his room tidy.

The trial continues.

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