Amelia Arnold murder trial: 'He said he tried to strangle her as he thought she was still alive' claim
PUBLISHED: 11:34 10 July 2013 | UPDATED: 11:34 10 July 2013
MURDER accused Jack Wall strangled his former girlfriend because he did not think she was dead after repeatedly hitting her, a relative has told jurors.
"He heard a groan at that point and he said her eyes were moving.
He said he tried to strangle her as he thought she was still alive."
Wall’s uncle Joseph Potter said his 22-year-old nephew had told him how he had killed Amelia Arnold when returning to the scene to dispose of the evidence.
Miss Arnold’s body was found buried in woodland close to Travellers Lane, Hatfield, and a bloodstained carpet was dumped in Hollybush Lane, Welwyn Garden City.
Potter, who has admitted assisting an offender and obstructing a coroner, said he was called by his sister Elizabeth Wall – Jack Wall’s mother – asking him to drive his van to the family home in Collenswood Road, Stevenage, on November 9 last year.
The 42-year-old picked Wall up and took him to Hadrian’s Walk, where his nephew lived with 19-year-old Miss Arnold.
"I just feel sorry for Amelia’s family."
“When we went upstairs that’s when me and Jack started to talk,” said Potter, who is being held in custody at Bedford Prison, but previously lived in Sycamore Avenue, Bletchley.
“As we walked into the bedroom he pointed to the left hand-side of the bedroom area and said that’s where it happened.
“He said he hit her with a bar and I assume that was the area where that happened.”
Potter said Wall had admitted hitting Miss Arnold “repeatedly” or “numerous times” around the head with dumbbell bars.
“He heard a groan at that point and he said her eyes were moving,” Potter told the court.
“He said he tried to strangle her as he thought she was still alive.”
Potter said there was no evidence of blood in the bedroom, but Wall had told him he had cleaned it up and the carpet had been removed.
Potter said he then received a phone call from his sister’s partner Michael Lilly asking him if he knew what he was doing and if he had tried to get Wall to hand himself in.
“I said I’d been down that road and at that point Jack was getting agitated,” said Potter.
“He was banging it (a dumbbell bar) against the floor and he was saying ‘everyone’s against me’.”
Potter said when he next returned to the van, a black bag was inside.
“I was assuming the worst – that it was Amelia,” he said.
After dropping off some household items and a puppy at his sister’s home, Potter drove Wall to Hatfield, picking up a garden fork which had been left at his former address.
The pair then made their way to Travellers Lane in Hatfield.
“There was no plan whatsoever, that was just an area to get rid of Amelia’s body,” said Potter.
After going along a “muddy track path” into woodland to survey the area, Wall returned to bury Miss Arnold’s body, Potter told jurors.
Waiting in his van for about an hour, Potter said he then went to investigate and found Wall in bushes covering an area with soil, before pouring liquid over the site.
The pair left the woods and later Potter disposed of the carpet near Hollybush Lane in Welwyn GC, before returning to Bletchley.
The following day he fled to a YMCA centre in Welwyn Garden City to stay with a friend for fear of being found by police, and he was later arrested there.
Asked by prosecutor Jane Bickerstaff QC why he was giving evidence, he said: “I just feel sorry for Amelia’s family.”
Wall has admitted manslaughter but denies murder.
The trial continues.
> For full coverage of the trial, see this week’s Welwyn Hatfield Times, on sale now