Defence team for man accused of Steven May's murder say there's 'no forensic evidence' suggesting an attack in the house they shared

Lawyers have started to sum up the evidence in the case of a man accused of murdering a vulnerable Preston dad.

Tuesday, 18th February 2020, 5:00 pm

Darren Taylor, 45, declined to take to the witness stand but his lawyers have summed up the evidence in his defence.

It is alleged Taylor physically and financially abused Steven May, 50, after moving into his home in Raven Street last February, before killing him in May.

A pathologist said Mr May had suffered 76 rib fractures in the last 12 weeks of his life and immediately prior to his death he had suffered more acute rib fractures, compromising his ability to breathe, and a serious jaw fracture.

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Steven May

Prosecuting Gordon Coles QC asked jurors to consider the pieces of evidence similar to a jigsaw in how they all fit together and suggested Taylor wanted control of a vulnerable man for his own gain.

He reminded the court of evidence about activity from Mr May's Halifax bank accounts showing in April 2019, £1,320 was withdrawn from his account.

Taylor, who said he had become Mr May's 'carer', had been heard by witnesses on the phone to the bank posing as Mr May to transfer money from his savings account.

At the time of his death Mr May had £8.40 in his savings and 35 pence in his current account.

Taylor had also posed as Mr May after his death to book a room at the Station Hotel in Preston.

Mr Coles added: " He succeeded in taking everything Steven May had and ultimately took his life."

But defending, John Jones QC told jurors there was no forensic evidence suggesting Mr May had been attacked in the house.

He said: "On May 25 forensics attended the house. A number of areas of blood staining were found.

"In the bedroom there was blood on the bedsheet, pillow and a denim jacket.

"But the forensic scientists' opinion was this would be expected if he had sustained a jaw injury and had bled on the bed."

He said a trace of blood found on the handle of a kitchen mop could have 'transferred' and and if blood had been 'cleaned up' in the property there was no trace in the mop bucket or water, or up the stairs if he had been carried upstairs.

He added: "There's no other blood, there's no other forensic evidence.

"There's no blood on his clothes or shoes to suggest kicking or stamping."

(proceeding)