Cobham M25 services attack victim 'raised arm' in attack

Hughie Saunders Image copyright Surrey Police
Image caption Hughie Saunders, nicknamed Quhey, died from a "catastrophic" head injury

A man raised his arm as if he was "about to strike" moments before he was beaten to death at an M25 service station, a court has heard.

Hughie Saunders, 20, from Stanford-le-Hope, Essex, died from a "catastrophic" head injury following an attack at Cobham services, Surrey, on 26 June.

Jurors at the Old Bailey have been told he was beaten with a plasterer's whisk.

Mikey Coyle, 21, of Barnes, south-west London, and Simon Baker, 22, of Green Lane, Outwood, Surrey, deny murder.

The court has heard how Mr Saunders, whose nickname was Quhey, had been returning home from a family wedding with a friend, aunt and uncle, when they stopped at the petrol station for refreshments.

At the same time, Mr Coyle and Mr Baker pulled up on the forecourt in a van loaded with building tools, the jury heard.

The defendants allegedly recognised the victim as they went to drive off and parked in front of his car "spoiling for a confrontation".

Mr Coyle allegedly armed himself with a shovel and Mr Baker with a large industrial whisk. Mr Saunders was unarmed.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Hughie Saunders was attacked on the petrol station forecourt at Cobham services

On the second day of the trial, jurors were shown CCTV footage from the service station shop.

Staff and customers looked on as Mr Baker appeared to back away from Mr Saunders just before the killer blow, which happened out of view, the court heard.

James Scobie QC, for the defence, suggested Mr Baker's stance with his left arm raised was "giving the impression, you might think, of effectively stopping him [Mr Saunders] coming forward".

Det Con Portia Andrews, of Surrey Police, who was presenting the footage, said it was unclear, but agreed it was one interpretation.

Mr Scobie went on: "We are going to see the right arm of Quhey raised high, Baker going back, and Quhey going towards him as if he is about to strike him."

The footage did not show the exact moment Mr Baker allegedly struck him with the whisk.

The trial continues.

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