An eye witness saw three “dodgy looking” men in high visibility jackets leaving Aldenham Country Park on the morning Gary Bennett was murdered, a court heard this morning.

Darren Kent, a technician for Bio Products Laboratory, in Dagger Lane, told the jury at St Albans Crown Court he saw three men leaving the park “in the pouring rain” at about 5.25am.

The court heard he was driving to work on Wednesday, February 24, as he usually did, with his wife in the car so she could drive it home once he had been dropped off.

After seeing the men, and parking his car a little up the road in the entrance to the laboratory, the court heard Mr Kent told his wife to “lock the doors and not to stop if anyone waved her down”.

He said: “I remember saying to her they looked dodgy. I thought it was strange because I never see anyone there at that time of the morning. One of them pulled his jacket up over his face but I assumed that was to cover himself from the rain.”

Earlier this morning, the court heard testimony from Ben Bruton, a bin man who worked on the same lorry as defendant Julian Felisi.

He told the court he remembered Mr Felisi being late on the morning of Mr Bennett's death and that he had caught the crew up when they were out on their route.

This matched similar evidence given by David Ansley, the driver of the same lorry, on Tuesday.

Defence barrister Nicholas Rhodes, cross-examining, pointed to three statements given to police by Mr Bruton.

In the first, on March 2, he said he went to work on the day of Mr Bennett's death and completed the round with Mr Felisi, Mr Ansley and another agency worker as usual.

In the second, given at about 5.50am, on March 16, he again said he could remember nothing unusual about the working day of Mr Bennett's death.

In the third however, given at about 9am on March 16, he said a conversation with Mr Ansley had “jogged his memory” and that he remembered Mr Felisi was late on Wednesday 24.

Mr Rhodes said: “Is it not right that you would trim and mow your evidence to fit in with someone else's? Why did it not jog your memory in the first statement? You and Mr Ansley were being treated as suspected accomplices.

“You fitted your story and changed your account because you were worried. At the time you would be an accomplice to murder and you and Mr Ansley have both changed your stance on this haven't you?

"That is the truth.

“You are not giving your evidence, you are giving someone else's. This is a murder allegation and you are a liar.”

Mr Bruton denied he changed his statements to match Mr Ansley's evidence, claiming he was in shock during his first two accounts and, only after he had time to “think it over and over” in his head, did he remember Mr Felisi was late.

The court also heard testimony from Anna Goralski, who worked on the lorry the day after Mr Bennett's death.

She told the court she remembered seeing a scratch on Mr Felisi's cheek after the murder but couldn't pin point exactly how long afterwards.

This afternoon the jury are due to hear testimony from Mr Kent's wife as well as DNA evidence regarding the blood splatters found at the murder scene.