Dog walkers found charred remains

Murder victim Barry Smith.
Murder victim Barry Smith.

The partner of Barry Smith has described the moment she was told the body of the father-of-four had been found.

Rowena Pearson told a jury at Leicester Crown Court she was woken by a friend ‘banging on the door’ of her home on the morning of October 6 last year.

Miss Pearson said: ”I thought it was the police, it was like ‘bang, bang, bang, bang’ I put on my dressing gown and looked out of the window.

“It was my friend Caz. She was screaming and going hysterical shouting ‘There’s been a body found at the club, they think it’s Barry’. I laughed at her and said ‘You’ve got to be joking, it can’t be Barry’.”

The court had previously been told that Mr Smith, originally from Armthorpe, was beaten to death with pool cues and a fence post, dragged to a pile of rubbish and set alight in a ‘savage and merciless attack’.

Dog walkers discovered his charred remains outside Kilburn Welfare Social Club in Belper, Derbyshire.

Vincent Aitken, aged 44, of Chapel Street, Kilburn, daughter Emma Aitken, 19, and partner Nathan Doherty, 27, both of Portland Street, Derby, all deny the murder of Mr Smith. Pamela Aitken, 41, denies assisting an offender in relation to 48-year-old Mr Smith’s death.

The trial continues.