‘It was a death scream’ - witness describes fatal attack in Norwich flat

PUBLISHED: 16:06 12 November 2019 | UPDATED: 10:13 13 November 2019

The flat at Dolphin Grove where James Greene was fatally injured. Photo: Luke Powell

The flat at Dolphin Grove where James Greene was fatally injured. Photo: Luke Powell


A woman has described hearing a “death scream”, like something from a film, coming from a flat where a man was strangled, a court has heard.

James Greene. Photo: Norfolk policeJames Greene. Photo: Norfolk police

James Greene, 39, died at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital on Thursday, June, 6, following an attack at Dolphin Grove, in Norwich, where he lived, on June 4.

Peter Bruton, 27, who had been a lodger at the flat, is on trial accused of the murder of Mr Greene, which he denies.

Giving evidence on Tuesday afternoon (November 12), Shannon Kelly, who had been living in a flat on the floor above the property where Mr Greene was attacked, said she heard "lots of banging" coming from Mr Greene's flat shortly before 10pm on June 4.

She told Peter Gair, prosecuting, the banging sounded like someone was being "pushed on the front door" and lasted for about a minute before there "was a scream".

She said: "It sounded like someone was dying.

"It was a death scream. I've never heard anything like it except from on a film. It was really loud. It lasted a few seconds."

She said she called police about 30 seconds after hearing that scream.

The jury of seven men and four women had heard Mr Greene had "no money" and was "desperate for £10 worth of drugs".

He had hatched a plan, "a cheat" on Bruton, also a drug user, that he would accuse Bruton of taking a £10 bag of crack cocaine from him and would "demand that Bruton would pay him back either £10 or a bag of drugs".

Stuart Evans, who had been with Mr Greene earlier in the evening, said Mr Greene had told him about the plan as they walked back from the soup kitchen.

Mr Evans, who did not want to be part of it, said: "I was trying to say it's not worth it, but he was quite adamant."

The witness told of earlier occasions when Mr Greene had tricked Bruton, including one where he (the victim) had been given £50 by Bruton to buy drugs but had gone out and pretended he was beaten up and had the cash stolen.

Mr Greene was found lying on the floor in the lounge, while Bruton was still in the flat and threatened with a taser before being arrested.

Bruton was interviewed by officers and told them he was threatened by Mr Greene with a bottle.

Bruton said he "held him down and strangled him" and "wanted him dead".

A post-mortem examination found that Mr Greene died as a result of compression of the neck resulting in hypoxic ischaemic brain injury.

The trial continues.

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