Watford murder suspect Julian Felisi “lied through his teeth” to police in the immediate aftermath of his alleged victim Gary Bennett's death, a court was told today.

Prosecution barrister Michael Speak told the jury, in his opening statement, how 37-year-old Mr Felisi's statements “altered dramatically” before and after he was informed of the evidence against him.

The jury at St Albans Crown Court heard that Mr Bennett, a bin man alongside Mr Felisi at the Wiggenhall Road waste depot, in Watford, was found dead by teenage students on the morning of Wednesday, February 24.

He had suffered massive head injuries caused by, what a pathologist later considered to be, as many as 13 blows to the back of his head with a blunt instrument.

The prosecution told the jury Mr Bennett was “a creature of habit ”who routinely rode his pedal-bike to work after being woken at about 4.30am every morning by his mother, with whom he lived, in Little Oxhey Lane, Watford.

On the morning of his death however, he left his bike at home, along with a rucksack which he “always took to work” and his body was found in the country park at about 8.50am.

The prosecution claim there is no other explanation as to how Mr Bennett arrived in the park other than that he was given a lift there by someone he knew.

The court heard how Mr Felisi was questioned as a matter of routine by police along with many other employees at the Watford waste depot.

He initially told police, in two witness statements, he had no idea how the popular Watford bin man was killed and that he had never given Mr Bennett a lift in his car.

After his arrest, in March, Mr Felisi gave no comment during hours of questioning by police, however, the jury heard that when police later served a body of CCTV evidence on the defendant, he altered his version of events.

The jury was told how Mr Bennett regularly bought pouches of tobacco from Mr Felisi at work, though the pair did not socialise.

In the defence case statement, later given by Mr Felisi, he claimed he did in fact drive Mr Bennett to the park on the morning of his death to meet two Irishman for a “tobacco deal”.

He claims the pair murdered Mr Bennett and, after they found Mr Felisi waiting in his car, threatened him into driving them away from the scene so they “could get a bus into London”.

He later told police he had lied in his earlier statements because he felt under threat from the two men.

Mr Speak, addressing the jury, said The Crown considered Mr Felisi's claims “nonsense”.

He added that they must consider, after hearing all the evidence, whether or not they think the defendant is guilty, regardless of whether or not a reason for him committing the crime becomes apparent.

The defence counsel will give its opening statements tomorrow (Tuesday) after the prosecution has concluded.

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