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He threw lover at a fence during squabble; COURT TOLD OF ABUSE IN GAY MURDER CASE.


A FATHER-OF-THREE alleged to have been murdered by his con artist boyfriend was thrown against a fence in a row at their home a few days before his death, a court heard yesterday.

Wayne Davies told an Old Bailey jury he saw Gareth MacDonald having an argument with another man in the street, said to be his lover Glenn Rycroft.

Rycroft is accused of killing Mr MacDonald with a fire extinguisher a week after the row in September 2007 in a Travelodge hotel room at Heston services on the M4.

Mr Davies was outside his girlfriend's parents house in Rhewl, near Mostyn, across the road from where the two men lived, when he said he saw the argument.

He said he first heard rowing in the street, then saw Mr MacDonald walking away.

"I saw the shorter male, Gareth, walking up the hill and the bigger one coming up behind him and throwing him into the fence," Mr Davies told jurors.

"Then I heard a bit of rowing. I remember Gareth saying 'why won't you let me go and see her?"' He said the other man replied: "You are not going to go and see her."

The court has heard that former pub manager Mr MacDonald, 30, had left his wife and three daughters for former British Airways steward Rycroft.

Gareth MacDonald But he was becoming suspicious about his past and concerned that his bank account had been emptied, jurors have been told.

Rycroft was a prolific con man who had previously cheated friends and colleagues out of more than pounds 200,000 in an investment scam and then by pretending he had cancer, the court has heard.

It is claimed Rycroft's motive included a desire "not to lose face in the eyes of his aunt and uncle".

Mr Rycroft's aunt, Barbara Rowlands, said the defendant led her and her husband John on a "wild goose chase" after taking their money in for a bogus British Airways Investment Bond in 2001, promising it could offer huge returns.

The planned meeting with Mr and Mrs Rowlands at a central London hotel, where the couple were staying during a visit from their home in Canada, had been arranged to hand back the money he owed.

The prosecution claims Mr Rycroft at one point told his relatives he was just 20 minutes away but went to "great lengths" to avoid the meeting, fobbing them off with more excuses.

The court heard that the defendant called to say he and Mr MacDonald were stuck in traffic and then became lost on the way and were at Heston services, and arranged the meeting for the following morning.

The prosecution told the jury that Mr MacDonald had already been murdered when CCTV cameras captured Mr Rycroft driving off at 7am before he returned shortly afterwards, went to the room and raised the alert.

Mrs Rowlands said the defendant failed to answer any of her calls that morning.

The court heard she left a series of angry voicemails on his mobile phone.

from Prestatyn In the first she said: "You're just having us on a wild goose chase Glenn.

"We're going to miss our train. We have no money.

"You have our money. Our visitors are expecting us. We have checked out of our hotel. What can I do?" In the second, she said: "It's 10 to nine and you've not showed up. I've got to go to Victoria bus station. I mean how the heck? You know this is not on. We've got no money and no train tickets."

In a final message to her nephew, she added: 'If you are where you say you are in London, there is no reason for you not to be here."

Mrs Rowlands told the court on Thursday that her and her husband were told of Mr MacDonald's death while staying in Cornwall and were subsequently interviewed by police.

Rycroft, 33, originally from Salford, Greater Manchester denies murder.

The trial was adjourned until today.


Glenn Rycroft is accused of murder Gareth MacDonald from Prestatyn
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jun 12, 2009
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