Sheffield murder accused told pub punters ‘a gypsy did it’, court told

Simon Holdsworth
Simon Holdsworth

A Sheffield factory worker accused of murdering his workmate on a school playing field told punters in a pub ‘a gypsy did it’, a court heard.

Shaun Wainwright allegedly beat family man Simon Holdsworth to death with a blunt weapon – but told pub-goers he had heard he was attacked with a Samurai sword.

A jury at Teesside Crown Court was told Wainwright had visited a couple of city pubs at the end of December 2013 following Mr Holdsworth’s death on the night of December 16. He told some customers he believed he had been ‘stabbed 12 times’ and ‘had a hole in the back of his head’.

He told others ‘it was a gypsy that did it.’

As the prosecution continued outlining their case against the 46-year-old, the jury was told Mr Holdsworth’s rucksack – which was examined after his death – had contained a letter to Santa from his stepson Tiarnan, who was turning four that Christmas Eve.

It also contained notes about his forthcoming stag do and wedding to fiancée Carleen McKeown.

The court was read transcriptions of a number of interviews between police officers and Wainwright after his arrest on suspicion of murder on January 14 last year.

He told detectives he had first known something was wrong the morning after Mr Holdsworth was killed because he had gone to pick up his wallet from FBS Prestige on Birley Lane Avenue – where he and Simon both worked.

His colleagues were unsure of the details so after a few hours of fishing he returned to work at about 4pm and found out Mr Holdsworth was dead.

Wainwright said in his interview: “I cried, I was angry, stunned, dismayed, shocked. I was that shocked I ended up getting a can of lager out of the car.

“I was shocked because he was a likeable lad, he isn’t a person that’s got a bad bone in him.

“I was angry.”

Wainwright said he sometimes gave Simon a lift home and wished he had done on the night of his death, because ‘none of this would have happened’.

Mr Holdsworth was attacked as he made his way home to Westfield Avenue, Hackenthorpe from a bus stop.

His body was found the next morning on playing fields by Rainbow Forge primary school.

Wainwright was interviewed by police again in March and June last year, when CCTV evidence was put to him that appeared to show he had not returned home at the time he had said he did on the night of Mr Holdsworth’s murder.

He answered ‘no comment’ to all questions.

The jury was told Wainwright has a number of previous convictions including for theft, harassment, assault occasioning GBH and common assault, all of which were dealt with at magistrates’ court.

Wainwright, of Dagnam Road, Arbourthorne, denies murder.

The trial continues.