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Thursday, 18 September 2014

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Carlisle murder trial: Victim ‘dead for some time’ before his body found

Stab victim Luke Hollingsworth had been dead for “some time” before he was discovered.

Stanwix killing photo
Floral tributes left at the scene

Related: Victim called murder accused 'wannabe gangster', Carlisle trial told

PC Tim Prangnell, the first officer at the scene, was told by a paramedic that Mr Hollingsworth “had been dead a while”, Carlisle Crown Court heard.

PC Prangnell was sent to Mr Hollingsworth’s home in Etterby Lea Road, Carlisle, at 5.12pm on July 10 last year.

He told jurors there was nobody around when he arrived but he saw a woman – Mr Hollingsworth’s girlfriend – coming from the back of his home.

She said “he’s dead” and appeared “panicky and agitated but was keeping it together”, PC Prangnell recalled.

He went inside and saw blood on the floor in the conservatory.

The officer could hear noises in the hallway where he saw a man – Jamie Armstrong – wearing jogging bottoms looking “pale” and “quite ill”.

PC Prangnell then reassured the woman that “it was okay – he’s not dead”.

But she replied saying he was dead and that he was upstairs.

He then went upstairs and into the bathroom, which was completely covered in blood, and found Mr Hollingsworth.

PC Prangnell pulled the body backwards and thought he was still alive because a rush of air came from him.

He then felt for a pulse in the neck but found nothing and realised he was cold and must be dead.

PC Prangnell then called for an ambulance and crime scene investigators before going back downstairs and telling the woman the man was dead.

After checking for anyone else in the house the officer then discovered a hammer and a phone in a back bedroom.

He went back downstairs and fired a series of questions at Armstrong to try and find out what had happened. But all he said was that his name was Jamie and nothing else, PC Prangnell added.

He then escorted Armstrong outside where paramedics were waiting – at which point Armstrong collapsed into a fence.

Two other paramedics went inside the house with PC Prangnell and up to the bathroom.

“I could tell immediately by their body language that the male was dead,” PC Prangnell told the court.

The paramedics manoeuvred Mr Hollingsworth out onto the landing and confirmed there was no sign of life.

PC Prangnell added: “It became obvious at that point he had been dead a while.

“They [the paramedics] said this had not just happened – he had been dead for some time.”

Armstrong denies murdering Mr Hollingsworth. The trial continues.

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