A pair of students found murder victim Gary Bennett “covered in blood” on their way to school, a court heard yesterday.

The jury at St Albans Crown court heard that sixth form students Hugo Bax and Richard Margrett thought the victim was drunk when they saw him lying face down in Aldenham Country Park.

The court was read a statement given to police by Mr Bax, in which he described walking over to check on the man to discover there was “blood all around him".

In the statement, Mr Bax, a student at Haberdashers' Aske's School for Boys, said: “Richard immediately called 999 before going to get help – I stayed on the phone to the ambulance.

“They asked me to roll him over onto his back. We rolled him over and I think his hood came off. It was then that I noticed he had a large hole in the back of his head.

“The ambulance then told me to put my head close to his to see if he was still breathing, which I did. By now Richard came back and we waited for the ambulance.”

Paramedics attempted to revive Mr Bennett but he was pronounced dead shortly after they arrived.

Prosecutor Michael Speak told the court police took statements from several other students who were in the area that morning but, as they were so similar, there was no need to read them out.

This morning the jury were taken on a site visit to Aldenham Country Park, in Dagger Lane, to observe the area in which Mr Bennett was found. The defendant, Julian Felisi, was also expected to attend under supervision.

When the court resumes on Monday, DNA evidence is expected to be given along with analysis of blood splatters found at the scene.