Gillingham amputee 'murdered by drug dealer neighbour'

  • Published
Alan WyattImage source, Kent Police
Image caption,
Alan Wyatt had just reconnected with one of his children, the court heard

A "gentle and lonely" disabled man was bludgeoned to death in his flat after complaining about his neighbour's drug dealing, a court has heard.

Alan Wyatt, a 68-year-old amputee, suffered "catastrophic" head injuries in Firethorn Close, Gillingham, Maidstone Crown Court was told.

Prosecutor Oliver Saxby QC said that after attacking him, Michael Bryant tried to set fire to his body.

Mr Bryant, 36, who lived in the same flat block, denies murder and arson.

Mr Saxby said the defendant initially denied having been anywhere near the flat on the day of the attack, on 14 February 2019, before later admitting he was there.

"But instead of having the courage to admit the truth, he is now saying the attack was carried out by somebody else who he tried to stop but was scared.

"There's absolutely nothing to suggest that there was anyone else present when Alan Wyatt was attacked," Mr Saxby added.

Image source, PA Media
Image caption,
Michael Bryant lived in the flat above Mr Wyatt in Firethorn Close, Gillingham

He said Mr Wyatt, who was a familiar face to passers-by who often saw him sitting in his wheelchair outside his flat, smoking, was brutally murdered by Bryant, allegedly a habitual drug user and occasional drug dealer.

He said: "Alan Wyatt [was] an increasingly disgruntled neighbour whose misfortune it was to live under the defendant's flat and who had begun to get fed up with the defendant and his behaviour."

Mr Saxby told the court father-of-three Mr Wyatt had been "bludgeoned with some sort of heavy implement and an attempt had been made to set his body alight".

He added: "His face had been stoved in."

Jurors were told the injuries could have been caused by a combination of a hammer and a meat cleaver, and they were warned about what they would see before being asked to look at certain photographs.

The trial continues.

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