STANSTED MURDER TRIAL: Son accused of murdering mother and her friend says mystery man killed pair while he was shopping

Police cordon off Bentfield Gardens

Police cordon off Bentfield Gardens - Credit: Archant

The son of a woman killed in Stansted said she and her friend were murdered while he went shopping.

Brett Rogers denies murdering mother Gillian Phillips, 54, and her friend David Oakes, 60, of Mountfitchet Road, Stansted, at her home in Bentfield Gardens on July 22 last year.

The 23-year-old, who lived at his mother’s home, told Chelmsford Crown Court today he was on the way back home from the supermarket when a mystery man cut his hand in an alley.

Mr Rogers said he had spent the day at home. He ate dinner at 7pm with his mother. He said everything was going “quite well” between them and he got on “okay” with Mr Oakes.

He told the court of his return to home: “I went straight ahead. I am where I found my mum dead and David Oakes dead.

“She was on the floor in the living room, next to the sofa. He was in the living room by the stairs. I checked to see if she was breathing. I tried to see if she was okay but she was unconscious and not talking. He was breathing.

“I got into a panic, moved the knives and called police. I just started to get worried.”

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Mr Rogers said he put four knives he found next to his mother into the kitchen bin. He went upstairs to his bedroom to change out of his clothes and trainers because they were covered in blood from his mother and Mr Oakes and put those in the same bin. He then went outside and waited for police.

He told the court that his own wound – a cut across the bottom of three fingers on his right hand – was still bleeding as he waited.

Asked by his defence counsel Graham Brown why he put the knives in the bin he said “because they were covered in blood”.

He agreed he thought that police would want to see where they were but said he moved them “in case someone was in the house”.

Mr Rogers said he waited outside for officers because he was in shock.

“I didn’t feel very good. I had just found my mum and her mate dead,” he said.

He denied he laughed, as alleged by officers, when he was challenged and arrested.

When he was asked: “What do you say to the suggestion that it was you that killed your mother?” He replied: “I say it’s not the truth.”

Asked relating to Mr Oakes, Rogers replied: “I would say it’s not true.”

Cross-examined by prosecutor Simon Spence QC, the defendant agreed he was capable of extreme violence “for no reason at all”.

But he claimed his attack on his father Peter Rogers four years ago was self-defence. He had pleaded guilty and served a prison sentence.

He said that 10 minutes after returning to the house and finding the bodies he dialled 999.

Questioned about the “mystery man”, he was asked: “This man was a complete stranger to you?”

He replied “Yes” but and agreed he had assumed the man was the murderer.

Mr Spence pointed out it wasn’t until April 4 this year in a defence document that Mr Rogers’s revealed for the first time that he had gone out, encountered a male in the alleyway and was cut.

Asked why he changed his clothing, Mr Rogers replied: “Because it was covered in blood.”

He was asked if he changed because he didn’t want police to think he was the murderer and replied: “Yes.”

He denied making up the story about moving the knives to explain how his DNA was on them.

Mr Spencer asked him: “You did love your mother didn’t you?”

“Yes,” he replied.

The trial continues.

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