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Body in freezer case jury retires.

JURORS in the trial of three people accused of murdering Peter McMahon and hiding his body in a freezer have retired to consider their verdict.

The body of Peter McMahon, a 68-year-old retired civil servant, was discovered at a flat in Elswick in December 2012.

Following a six week trial at Newcastle Crown Court, Mr Justice Globe sent the jury out to reach their verdict.

They will resume their deliberations this morning. The trial has heard Mr McMahon was allegedly murdered and his eyes gouged out before his body was moved into a kennel, then a suitcase and finally a specially bought chest freezer.

Sharon Swinhoe, 44, of Crawford Terrace, Walker, Joseph Collins, 54, of The Sycamores, Elswick, and Ronald Douglas, 77, of West Acres, Blaydon, all deny murder.

Swinhoe has previously told the court how Collins told her in a phone conversation how he killed grandfather McMahon.

Douglas claims Swinhoe told him it was she who murdered him when he picked up a suitcase containing his body and put it into his car.

During summing up Mr Justice Globe read out witness statements from five inmates from Swinhoe's prison Low Newton in County Durham - one of whom she claimed talked about getting rid of his body in the River Tyne with Collins.

However he advised the jury the bad character of all the prisoners should be taken into consideration.

Collins and Douglas admit hiding the body and perverting the course of justice. Swinhoe denies both of these charges.
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jul 25, 2013
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