MURDER TRIAL LATEST: Ex-partner takes the stand

Collette Booth (centre)
Collette Booth (centre)

A woman accused of the murder of her ex-partner wept in the dock today (Wednesday Septmeber 25) as she told a jury she would never want any harm to come to him.

Collette Booth, 47, also told Nottingham Crown Court she once pushed Ilkeston father-of-six Mick Moss down a set of stairs during one of a string of abusive altercations they had when he had been drinking.

But she said the incident, in which the 47-year-old broke his arm, had been ‘in self defence’.

When he would drink he would become abusive, she said, and on this occasion she feared he would have punched her.

“I thought he would change. I was hoping he would change. I’d take him to the doctors, the hospital. I tried everything with him,” she said.

“When you love somebody you try to help them, don’t you?

“And that’s what I did.”

She said he would call her names in the street like ‘fat slag’ after they split in October last year. And by the time of Moss’s death she was ‘at the end of my tether’ with him.

She had asked him to leave the home they shared when her grandson, who lived there too, found a bottle of vodka Mr Moss had hidden behind the cooker.

Booth, of Mill Street, Ilkeston, is accused of Mr Moss’s murder alongside Jamie Elliott, 27, of North Street, Alfreton, and Nathan Hall, 24, of Birchwood Lane, Somercotes.

A fourth defendant – Booth’s son Alan Chapman – had the case against him discontinued last week and walked free from court.

The court heard today that Elliott had called round to Booth’s Mill Street home on Christmas Eve 2012 with presents for her and her grandson.

He introduced himself as ‘JJ’ and explained he was a friend of Chapman’s. Booth said she thought he was ‘very nice’ but Mr Moss had become drunk and abusive.

Booth said she had told Elliott the number of Mick’s home on nearby Canal Street during the 30 minutes he had been at the house.

The next time she saw him, she said, was on January 30 – the day of Mr Moss’s death – when he called round with another man to see if Chapman had been released from prison.

This was despite Booth claiming to have spoken to Elliott, using a friend’s mobile phone, a few days earlier, to tell him Chapman was to be released the following day - January 31.

David Farrar QC, for Booth, asked her: “Did you believe when you spoke to JJ in that phone call that JJ would at any time go round to give Mick a severe beating?”

“No,” she replied.

The trial continues.