A Sheffield factory worker accused of murdering workmate Simon Holdsworth told police he could not understand why anyone would kill his ‘gentle and generous’ colleague.
In a witness statement given to police shortly after Mr Holdsworth was killed as he walked home from work, Shaun Wainwright said he had been ‘very emotional and crying’ when he heard about Simon’s death.
He said: “I can’t think why this has happened to Simon.”
Mr Holdsworth, aged 36, was beaten to death with a blunt weapon on playing fields by Rainbow Forge Primary School in Hackenthorpe on December 16, 2013, as he walked home from work at night.
Wainwright, who worked with Mr Holdsworth at FBS Prestige on Birley Vale Avenue, gave an initial witness statement on January 7 last year.
The statement, given to police prior to Wainwright being arrested, was read to a jury at Teesside Crown Court yesterday.
Wainwright said the pair had got on well and had been planning to go on a fishing trip.
“We were planning to go fishing together but now that won’t happen,” he said.
He added: “Simon normally went on about football or fishing. He was a Sheffield Wednesday fan and I’m a Chelsea fan so we were always ribbing each other.
“I found Simon to be a quite gentle and generous person. He was always good to talk to.”
Wainwright also told police he could not understand why Simon had been killed.
He initially told police he had driven home straight from work on the night of Simon’s murder, which happened around 11.15pm, and arrived there at 11.05pm.
But CCTV footage was later uncovered which showed a vehicle pulling up outside Wainwright’s house on Dagnam Road, Arbourthorne, at 11.37pm and the driver getting out and going into his property.
Forensic expert Andrew Wooler told the jury yesterday he was ‘certain’ the car shown on the CCTV images was that of Wainwright’s because of problems with its front headlights which made its appearance ‘unique’.
Mr Wooler also said it was ‘practically impossible’ that CCTV footage of a car passing along other nearby roads shortly beforehand could be of a different vehicle with the same headlight issues.
But he also told the jury he had been unable to analyse footage of a car caught on by cameras at Rainbow Forge School around the time of the murder as the quality of the images from a distance were not clear enough.
Wainwright, 46, denies murder.
The trial continues.