Man 'beat friend to death' on fishing trip, court hears

Peter Seeclear Image copyright FAMILY HANDOUT
Image caption Mr Seeclear suffered serious chest trauma and broken ribs, a post-mortem examination found

A man who "bullied" his friend and treated him "like a dog" beat him to death on a fishing trip, a court heard.

Peter Seeclear, 45, died while camping with his appointed carer Nathan Muat at Stadt Moers Park in Whiston on 30 October last year.

Mr Muat told police his friend suffered an epileptic fit but the prosecution allege he lost his temper and attacked him, Liverpool Crown Court heard.

Mr Muat, 45, denies murder and an alternative charge of manslaughter.

Guy Gozem, QC, prosecuting, said that five days into the fishing trip, Mr Muat knocked at a couple's house "out of breath, upset, agitated and shaking".

'Lashed out'

"He said 'call an ambulance… he's had an epileptic fit and I don't think he's breathing'", Mr Gozem told the jury.

But when paramedics arrived they found "a body which was cold and unresponsive" with signs of rigor mortis and "an obvious recent injury to the face".

Mr Muat, of Upper Parliament Street, Toxteth, told police his friend had hurt his face in a fall and that he had seen his friend having a fit.

But a post-mortem examination found Mr Seeclear, a father-of-one, suffered serious chest trauma and broken ribs.

Mr Gozem said although Mr Muat was Mr Seeclear's appointed carer, "there is abundant evidence that he bullied him, abused him, and treated him like a servant, if not a dog".

He told the jury the defendant has since changed his account to say he and his friend fought on 29 October, claiming Mr Seeclear "lost his temper" and "lashed out".

Mr Muat recalled "kicking out more than once to protect himself", using "his knee to the chest".

Mr Gozem said Mr Muat may not have wanted to kill his friend, but "must have delivered repeated blows... with severe force. Only he knows."

The trial continues.

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