A 59-YEAR-old man said to be involved in four murders may have killed another man when he was a teenager.
Robin Stanislaw Ligus is said to have confessed to drowning a man in the River Severn when he was aged 17, a jury at Birmingham Crown Court heard.
Ligus, formerly from Shrewsbury, is already serving a life sentence for the murder of 75-year-old Robert Young in 1994.
He is currently on trial for the murders of 57-year-old Brian Coles, from Higher Heath, Whitchurch, 53-year-old Trevor Bradley from Ludlow and 36-year-old Bernard Czyzewska from Shrewsbury, in the space of seven months the same year.
At an earlier hearing Mr Justice Colman Treacy ruled Ligus, who suffered a stroke in 2006, was unfit to plead to the three murder charges following medical and psychiatric reports.
The jury has heard Ligus had confessed to the 1994 murders and described himself as "a natural born killer".
But the admission to killing a fifth man in 1969 could not be pursued because of a lack of information about the death.
Mr James Curtis QC, prosecuting, said the confessions were taped after an inmate at Gartree Prison agreed to be wired and took place in the late 1990s when Ligus showed no sign of mental illness.
He said the tape recordings, in which Ligus is referred to by his prison name ‘Stan’, would played to the jury.
Ms Rachel Brand, QC, defending, told the jury to keep an “open mind” about the confessions which she said contained “bluntly wrong” information.
Mr James Curtis QC, said Ligus had confessed to using an iron bar to bludgeon Mr Coles who he attacked and left for dead after burgling his house.
He is also said to have admitted striking Ludlow antiques dealer Mr Bradley over the head before putting his unconscious body into a car and burning it near Melverley.
In another confession Ligus said he hit Mr Czyzewska’s head against a railing before throwing him into the River Severn at Shrewsbury.
The court was told Ligus had been a painter and decorator and his hobbies were taxidermy and fishing, but was taking heroin in the 1990s and later cocaine.
He made regular trips to Liverpool to pick up drugs and was known to knock on doors offering garden work to detect places with vulnerable people and valuable items.
Mr Curtis said Ligus had targeted the victims to get cash to fund his drugs habit.
He said the murders displayed similarities and Ligus had made accurate descriptions of how he carried them out and comparisons could also be drawn with the murder of Mr Young, also in 1994.
The trial continues.