Judge to sum up before Wrexham murder trial jury retires


Staff reporter (Leader Live)

A MURDER trial jury is expected to retire to consider its verdicts later today to decide whether or not Francesco John Prevete is guilty of murder.

Mr Justice Jeremy Baker QC, will sum up the case to the jury at Mold Crown Court this morning and the jury will then retire.

The prosecution say Prevete, 46, is guilty of murdering amateur boxer Craig Maddocks in a frenzied knife attack in a toilet cubicle at the Cambrian Vaults public house in Wrexham. Mr Maddocks had 52 stab wounds.

The defence say he did not do it – but is also putting forward an alternative defence that if the jury find he was responsible that he did it in the aftermath of an epileptic event, that he was labouring under an insane automatism.

Prevete, of Weale Court, Wrexham, denies murdering Mr Maddocks, 34, of Llay, near Wrexham, in the early hours of June 26 last year.

Mr Maddocks, who was a former partner of Prevete’s niece, died of “shock and haemorrhaging” from multiple wounds to the neck and chest from a flick knife.

Prevete said he found Mr Maddocks with a knife in his back and all he did was to try to help him.

He told police at the scene: “I was just trying to plug his holes. The blood was spurting everywhere.”

In his closing speech yesterday prosecuting barrister Karl Scholz told the jury they would have to consider if Prevete killed Mr Maddocks, and if he did, whether it was during the alleged “absence attack” when he said he went into a daze in the toilets.

He accused Prevete of changing his account when he saw different doctors and suggested he was guilty of a frenzied attack, in a rage while under the influence of alcohol and cocaine, possibly over a debt to his father, who had been buried a few hours before.

The jury knew the extent of the hatred he had felt towards previous employers when he felt wronged and how he avoided coming into contact with them for fear of what he might do, he said.

Mr Maddocks’ blood had been found on Prevete‘s clothing which was not consistent with him simply picking up Mr Maddocks in the cubicle while trying to help him.

In her closing speech Suzanne Goddard QC, defending, said Mr Maddocks met a horrible death – which was a terrible tragedy for his family. But nothing that happened in the court room would bring him back.

The evidence was that Prevete was perfectly pleasant that night. He was regarded as “a gentle giant” who was nice and friendly and a great guy.

She asked the jury to consider that someone else may have been inside the toilet, the real killer who had been able to leave after the killing over an outside wall.


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