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Murder trial told Stourbridge businessman suffered 38 injuries
5:20pm Tuesday 22nd January 2013 in News
MURDERED Stourbridge businessman Richard Sherratt died after suffering 38 injuries during a violent robbery at his rented Bridgnorth flat.
The trial of a prostitute accused of the killing was told Mr Sherratt, aged 57, was beaten and stabbed in the arm. He died within an hour of the horrific assault, probably after choking on his own blood.
Emma Bate is on trial at Stafford Crown Court accused of the murder. Her boyfriend, Paramjit Singh, has already pleaded guilty to the charge.
Bate has admitted robbing and defrauding Mr Sherratt.
Pathologist Dr Nicholas Hunt told the court Mr Sherratt suffered injuries including 23 to his face and head.
He said: "It is clear this man was subject to a violent assault. The injuries he sustained include injuries to the face, head and chest and a transfixed stab wound to the left forearm."
He added forced pressure to the deceased's chest along with general poor health also contributed to his death.
A co-accused, Michael Smith, one of Bate's clients, denies robbing Mr Sherratt. The jury has been told Smith drove Bate and Singh to the flat, in Old School Mews, on June 14 last year, the night Mr Sherratt was killed.
Mr Sherratt had been hit at least five times around the head, stabbed once in the arm, he was found dead on his bed by his former partner Julie Sykes the following day.
The court also heard evidence from a statement Bate gave to police in which she denies involvement in the killing.
Bate told police: "He thought we were in a relationship. I knew what was involved, but he thought it was a normal relationship."
Asked if she regarded him as "just a punter", she replied: "Yes, that's how I met him and that is how it stayed."
She said although Mr Sherratt paid her, they only once tried to have sex: "He never expected sex, because he was a drinker, so I don't think he could. At first he was paying me by the hour, then I started seeing him a lot more.
"We went out for meals with his friends and his daughter. I just think he was an old man who liked a trophy on his arm.
"He was getting me stuff after just a week. Anything I wanted he got me."
But after Mr Sherratt came back from a holiday in Dubai in May 2012, he didn't want to know her.
Bate told the police: "He was probably seeing other girls from the agency. I just went back to work."
It was her idea to go to Mr Sherratt's flat on the night of the murder. When she and Singh entered, the victim woke up, startled. She asked him for money and Mr Sherratt said 'no, I haven't got it'.
She said: "Then I just took his wallet and took the cards out and went to the bank."
When she came back, Mr Sherratt was lying on the bed and there was blood on the sheets.
Bate said: "I didn't know what I was thinking - phone the police, phone an ambulance or just leave the door open. I didn't know he was dead. I would have said he was just injured.
"It's a lot of blood, so obviously something had gone on. I couldn't see where the blood was actually coming from. All I saw was blood on the sheets."
Asked if she thought about helping Mr Sherratt, Bate replied: "No, if I had touched him and tried to help him, it's going to come down to me and I haven't touched him."
In a prepared statement, Bate said she did not take a knife to the flat and she was not blackmailing Mr Sherratt: "I did not kill the deceased, I wasn't present when the injuries were inflicted."
The trial is continuing