Essex

Coin collector murder accused 'amazed' by collection

Gordon McGhee Image copyright Essex Police
Image caption Gordon McGhee was a coin collector

A coin collector accused of murdering a fellow enthusiast looked "amazed" when he saw his collection, a court has heard.

Danny Bostock is accused of stabbing Gordon McGhee, 52, in order to take his rare coins, which included limited edition Beatrix Potter 50p pieces.

Mr Bostock, 33, of Berberis Walk, Colchester, is also accused of trying to cause a gas explosion.

Ipswich Crown Court has heard he denies murder and attempted reckless arson.

Mr McGhee's neighbour Melissa McGrory told the court he had previously taken his collection to her flat, where he also showed it to Mr Bostock.

"He said 'look at this one, look at that one'," she said. "He was very proud of his collection."

Image caption Gordon McGhee died after being stabbed, a court heard

Miss McGrory told the court Mr Bostock was "intrigued" by the collection, which the deceased had intended to be a "hand-me-down" to his daughter.

"I think he was amazed," she said of the defendant's reaction.

She said Mr McGhee had once told Mr Bostock he could "have a couple" if he saw any coins he liked, and the defendant took some duplicates.

Miss McGrory told the court that, on August 22, a day after a group including Mr McGhee and Mr Bostock had been drinking together, she found the victim's flat unlocked.

She claimed the kitchen hobs were "turned up full blast" but unlit, so she switched them off and opened some windows.

Miss McGrory said she then found Mr McGhee's bloodied body on the floor by his bed, and saw a dish cloth that had been set alight on the hall floor.

Under cross-examination, she agreed with defence barrister Alison Levitt QC that the main door to the block of flats was not secure and "anyone could get in".

The trial continues.

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