South West Wales

Angelika Dries-Jenkins murder: John Mason's evidence

A man accused of beating to death a Pembrokeshire woman has begun giving evidence in his defence.

John William Mason, 55, is accused of murdering Angelika Dries-Jenkins, 66, in her Narberth home last year.

He told the jury that he saw Ms Dries-Jenkins about two weeks before she was killed, when he had called next door to water his mother's plants, and had not seen her since.

Mr Mason denies murder and the trial continues at Swansea Crown Court.

Previously, the court heard that blood found at the house partially matched Mr Mason's DNA profile.

The prosecution claims the possibility of partial DNA matches coming from other people were one in a billion.

The court has also previously been told that Ms Dries-Jenkins was beaten to death with a blunt instrument by Mr Mason because he needed the money to pay for his wedding.

He is said to have withdrawn £1,000 from her bank accounts, having stolen her handbag and her Skoda Fabia car, and leaving her dead or dying.

The court heard limited DNA profiles were found on a number of objects in the house but in Ms Dries-Jenkins's car a full profile was obtained which matched the defendant on the car keys.

Image caption John Mason says he discussed horses with Ms Dries-Jenkins

However, on Monday, Mr Mason said he had not seen Ms Dries-Jenkins for about two to two-and-a-half weeks before her death.

Questioned by his barrister, Chris Clee QC, Mr Mason, from nearby Llandisillio, said he had travelled by bus to Narberth and then walked to his mother's house, where he had grown up.

His mother was out and he spent the next 30 minutes watering plants, he said.

He said he discussed with Ms Dries-Jenkins the fact he used to keep horses in the field behind her house, and she invited him around.

After he made a joke about her Skoda car, he claims she invited him to get into the car.

He told the jury he caught the 12.26pm bus into Haverfordwest.

When reminded there were no computer records of anybody paying a fare at the stop he said he used, Mr Mason said he knew the driver, Colin Browne, who would sometimes let him travel without a ticket.

Mr Clee said he had been filmed outside the Eagle pub in Narberth earlier that day and his appearance had changed.

Mr Mason said he left his baseball cap, jacket and jumper in his mother's greenhouse.

He denied being the man filmed using Angelika Dries-Jenkins' bank card to withdraw cash at ATM machines, and denied driving her Skoda when it was filmed at various locations between Narberth and Haverfordwest.

The case continues.

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