DANIEL Parr’s trial for murdering Jamie Stuart took place against a tense background of intimidation and threats against witnesses who exposed him as a dangerous killer.
When a jury failed to reach a verdict following an initial trial in January, scheming Parr tried to derail proceedings by phoning pals from Doncaster Prison, urging them to scare off prosecution witnesses.
And, after Parr was jailed for life, his cousin Ashton Moore was locked up for six months for taking photos and video footage illegally from the public gallery of Sheffield Crown Court.
Peter Moulson QC, prosecuting, said the second trial was delayed by months because of Parr’s menacing behaviour while on remand.
“He was obviously thinking about the retrial and which witnesses damaged his story,” Mr Moulson said.
In one call to a friend Parr said, ‘Once I get out they won’t be opening their mouths. There’s going to be a war starting’.
He also threatened to ‘do in’ a young woman called Corrie Jowitt, who gave evidence for the prosecution at the first trial.
Before the retrial her windows were smashed - and she was so frightened she attempted suicide.
Her evidence from the first trial was read to the jury after a judge said she had failed to attend only because she was ‘in fear’.
“The only thing that will do justice is if I hear she’s done in - and do it with a sledgehammer,” Parr said in another call from jail.
The calls were recorded, but when Parr was arrested he said the threats were ‘nothing to do with him’.
While another witness, Tracy Gray, gave evidence, Parr’s 20-year-old cousin made a three-minute video.
She also took three photos of the killer in the courtroom with her mobile phone, and sent text messages to friends, listing the names of people who had turned up at court.
Moore’s barrister, John Boumphrey, claimed she was ‘of limited understanding’, had few qualifications, and failed to see signs prohibiting photography in court.
Moore, of no fixed address, admitted contempt of court.