Murder suspect Julian Felisi failed to tell anyone about Gary Bennett's death because he “feared for his own life”, a court heard this morning.

Mr Felisi told the court he “was in a state of shock” and did not trust the police to protect him from the men who killed Mr Bennett.

According to Mr Felisi's testimony, having found Mr Bennett with serious injuries on the floor of the country park and being taken at knife point back to his car, he drove one of the perpetrators away from the scene.

He then drove to work, arriving in a high visibility jacket, and carried out his working shift as normal.

Defence barrister Nicholas Rhodes said: “You have not at any stage phoned for an ambulance or alerted anyone to Gary Bennett's predicament. Why?”

Mr Felisi said: “I basically just assumed to a point he wasn't alive – I thought he was dead. In any sort of shock I basically just push things to the back of my mind and try to forget them. I'm a creature of comfort - I do things day in, day out - it was not something I had expected to see that morning.”

The court heard Mr Felisi went straight home after work but couldn't remember whether he had gone out, only that he thought he stayed at home and used the internet to “go on Facebook and maybe the police website”.

He said: “I was very, very quiet for the rest of the day. I didn't think to go back to the park because as far as I was concerned I didn't want to see that area again. I was scared about the threats from the Irishmen. I have children, I feared for them, I feared for my girlfriend – who knows what people can do nowadays.”

Mr Felisi told the court he received further threats from the Irishmen in the weeks after Mr Bennett's death, including a note telling him he would be killed if he went to the police.

The court heard a wing mirror on Mr Felisi's car was later smashed, something he also considered a threat from the men as he “saw a white van up the road” which was the same as one he had seen on the morning he picked them up.

Mr Rhodes asked Mr Felisi about a pair of boots he threw away between giving his first and second statements to police.

The court heard on a visit to Mr Felisi's house, on February 27, police officers were shown a pair of boots he would have worn on the morning of the murder.

He said: “They were going to take a print mould of them but they did not have the kit with them so they didn't. Two or three days later the boots split so I threw them away. I thought if the police were in any way interested in the boots they would have done something about them earlier.”

Prosecuting barrister Michael Speak questioned Mr Felisi about the clothing he wore on the morning of Mr Bennett's murder.

CCTV footage shows Mr Felisi arrive at work in a high-visibility jacket, something he leaves in his car to sign in at the main office. He then returns to his car, apparently with the jacket back on before walking off camera “to the servicing garage to hang it up to dry”.

In his earlier testimony, Mr Felisi claimed he went into the park but was not picked up by the CCTV camera as he was wearing a dark blue jumper.

He told the court he wore his high-visibility jacket to pick up Mr Bennett but took it off, “probably when the first man got out of the car”.

Mr Speak questioned Mr Felisi as to how, and at what point, his jacket got wet that morning and when he would have put it back on after leaving the park.

Mr Speak said: “If you can just help me with this, you stood in the rain having a cigarette without your jacket on before going into the park? And then you were taken at knife point back to your car by one of the Irishmen? You then arrive at work with the jacket on, at what point did you put it back on?”

Mr Felisi said: “I don't really remember. I did not ask him to pull over, it must have been at some point after I dropped the man off. I would have put it back on because I had to go to work. It was damp from the day before and would have got wet when I walked to my car in the morning.”

The court heard Mr Felisi went to the bathroom after he arrived at work but he denied, when asked by Mr Rhodes, that he washed himself or any of his clothes while he was in there.

Mr Felisi later borrowed a jacket, which is believed to have belonged to Mr Bennett, from the inside of the spare lorry his crew were using that day.

The trial continues.