Beds, Herts & Bucks

Colonel Riley Workman murder trial: Jury considers verdict

Christopher Docherty-Puncheon
Image caption Mr Docherty-Puncheon is alleged to have confessed to cell mates

A jury has retired to consider its verdict in the trial of a former gamekeeper accused of murdering a retired colonel in Hertfordshire.

Christopher Docherty-Puncheon, 33, from Stocking Pelham, denies shooting 83-year-old widower Lt Col Robert "Riley" Workman in January 2004.

Lt Col Workman was found dead at his cottage in Furneux Pelham.

St Albans Crown Court heard Mr Docherty-Puncheon confessed to the murder to cell mates in prison.

But judge Mr Justice Saunders warned jurors they should treat custody confessions with "considerable caution".

In a five-week trial, the jury was told how at about 20:15 GMT on 7 January, Lt Col Workman was blasted in the body by a single shot from a double barrelled shotgun after answering his door.

Image caption Lt Col Robert Workman was killed at his Hertfordshire cottage in 2004

At the time, Mr Docherty-Puncheon, formerly known as Christopher Nudds, was 24 and living with his parents in the neighbouring village of Stocking Pelham.

Mr Docherty-Puncheon is alleged to have admitted murdering Lt Col Workman to cell mates while being held on remand in Bedford Prison in connection with the disappearance of traveller Fred Moss.

During closing speeches, Mr Justice Saunders told the jury it was possible that prisoners could get reduced sentences or financial rewards for giving evidence to police.

The judge told the jury: "You are not entitled to say 'because the defendant killed Fred Moss he must have killed Colonel Workman' - it does not follow in any way."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites