Beds, Herts & Bucks

Luton murder trial: Meuric Roberts 'killed by man who owed him money'

Meuric Roberts Image copyright Bedfordshire Police
Image caption Meuric Roberts was found dead in his flat in Hitchin Road, Luton on 24 April

A man was stabbed to death in his flat by a man who owed him money, a court has heard.

The body of Meuric Roberts, 56, was found in his home in Hitchin Road, Luton, on 24 April.

Simon Lewis, 39, from Chapel Street in Luton, denies murdering him two days earlier.

The jury at Luton Crown Court heard that acquaintances of Mr Roberts had told him to stop lending money to Mr Lewis, who had "severe cash problems".

The prosecution said the men knew each other as Mr Lewis had previously lived in a neighbouring flat in Wesley House.

Mr Lewis would pawn and sell times to raise funds.

Mr Roberts was known to sell small quantities of tobacco and lend cash to people and Lewis owed him money, the court heard.

Image caption Mr Roberts body was discovered by a female relative, concerned that no one could contact him

CCTV was shown to the jury of Mr Lewis heading in the direction of Mr Roberts' flat on Easter Monday, 22 April and at 23:00 BST, heading back towards his own flat.

Images showed him leaving the property three times to dispose of rubbish sacks in bins. The rubbish was never recovered, the court heard.

The prosecution claimed Mr Lewis stabbed Mr Roberts in his chest and stole his mobile phone and cash.

After the alleged murder, he bought bottles of alcohol, trainers and topped up his mobile phone.

The prosecution said swabs taken from under Mr Roberts' fingernails revealed a DNA sample with a strong match to the accused.

Jogging bottoms found at Mr Lewis' flat showed a stain on them likely to be from the deceased's blood, prosecutors said.

Mr Roberts' daughter Cheryl Byrne, who lives in Milton Keynes, told the court her father had lent £600 to the boyfriend of a "girl from upstairs", who had asked to borrow more money, but he refused.

The trail continues.

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