COURT LATEST: Sheffield murder accused said he was ‘gobsmacked’ when he was arrested

Simon Holdsworth
Simon Holdsworth

A Sheffield factory worker accused of killing workmate Simon Holdsworth said he was ‘gobsmacked’ to be arrested on suspicion of murder.

Shaun Wainwright said he was parked in his car drinking lager and listening to music at the time of the murder on the night of December 16, 2013.

He today denied having anything to do with the killing as he gave evidence at Teesside Crown Court.

When he was asked if he had killed Mr Holdsworth, he said: “No, I did not.”

This afternoon, the court heard Wainwright was sacked from a previous job at Pennine Foods for ‘threatening behaviour’ after a worker sprayed chlorine in his eyes and he ‘voiced opinion’.

He said it was not true he had once followed a colleague in his car for 27 miles - adding it was for ‘under a mile’.

Mr Holdsworth, 36, was battered to death on the playing fields of Rainbow Forge Primary School in Hackenthorpe with a blunt weapon as he walked home from work.

He is alleged to have been killed by Wainwright, who he worked with at FBS Prestige on Birley Vale Avenue.

Mr Holdsworth was attacked at around 11.15pm that night.

Giving evidence today, father-of-two Wainwright, aged 46, of Dagnam Road, Arbourthorne, said he had left work at around 10.55pm.

He said that instead of driving straight home, he had parked up on Cadman Road in Intake, off Mansfield Road.

“I opened a few cans of lager and listened to a few CDs,” he said.

He said he listened to ‘five or six tracks’ on the CD and had been at the location for around 20 to 25 minutes.

Wainwright said he had been thinking about his late partner Alison Platt, who had died in December 2010, as well as a funeral of a friend he was going to in a couple of days time.

He said he did not want to go home immediately as his new girlfriend who he was living with was ‘quite jealous’.

Wainwright said: “If I had been thinking sombre thoughts and got emotional, it would have ended up in an argument. Rather than heading home and arguing, I sat there.”

He accepted that CCTV showed his car arriving at his home at 11.37pm that night and him getting out.

Wainwright said he let his dogs out and went to bed after returning home.

The court had previously heard that in police interviews Wainwright had said he had gone stralight home from work.

But in court today he said it ‘only came to me’ he had been in his car drinking lager in June 2014.

He said he didn’t tell police about drinking lager in the car as he was concerned about being prosecuted for drink driving.

Wainwright said the prosecution were ‘incorrect’ to suggest that after realising he had left his wallet at work that evening, he had contacted Simon to try and get him to reopen the factory in the minutes before the attack.

Wainwright told the court he had a ‘very good relationship’ with Mr Holdsworth and had discussed going fishing with him.

The court also heard Wainwright has four previous convictions, dating between December 1987 and September 1993, including GBH and assault.

He also had three police cautions, one from 1985 for assault causing actual bodily harm, an affray offence in 2008 and another ABH offence in 2013.

The case continues.