Hilda Owen murder trial: Accused Peter Smith said he 'would never have claimed under will that left me it all'
A MAN accused of murdering a pensioner was not going to claim under a will that left everything to him, a court heard.
Peter Smith had bought a will kit and had filled out all the details for his neighbour Hilda Owen – but told a jury he was not going to do anything with it.
Smith, 48, is alleged to have murdered Mrs Owen, 71, and used money from her will to solve his financial troubles.
Yesterday, he was questioned by prosecuting barrister Peter Joyce about the will, which he said was completed in the presence of Mrs Owen, his neighbour in West Hill, Skegby.
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Mr Joyce asked: "Would you ever have claimed under the will?"
Smith, wearing a grey suit, white shirt and a patterned tie, replied: "No. She decided that she wanted to do it."
Mr Joyce said: "Why didn't you say, 'Hilda, look I'm not going to claim under this when you die. There's no point in having a will'."
Smith told him: "Once Hilda's mind was set on something...she wanted it doing."
Mrs Owen, who had lived alone since her husband died in August, 2005, was attacked as she sat in a chair in her home, Nottingham Crown Court has heard.
Her body was found on the floor in the living room and her injuries were consistent with the use of a claw hammer and a screwdriver.
She also had a broken bone in her neck, indicating she had been strangled. Injuries to her hands suggested she had tried to defend herself.
Blows to her head caused brain injuries that led to her death, but the pattern of injuries showed she was alive after the attack for 15 to 24 hours.
Analysis indicated she had been attacked from behind while sitting in a chair, then moved or been moved on to her back on the floor and attacked again.
Smith denies murdering her between February 26 and March 1, 2007.
Smith gave police a copy of Mrs Owen's will. But Mr Joyce said to Smith that there were items in the document that suggested she was not there when it was completed.
"It was filled in by you? On your own? Without Hilda there?" he asked.
Smith replied: "Not at all. She was with me."
Mr Joyce said: "You dealt with all her claims for this and that. All Hilda had to do was sign?"
Smith said: "She was signing it. She always read things she was signing."
"What did she think she was signing?" said Mr Joyce.
"A will", replied Smith.
The case continues.