Man accused of Lee Pomeroy murder told former partner 'I've done something bad', court hears

Lee Pomeroy Credit: Family Handout/PA

The man accused of murdering an IT consultant on a train called his former partner on the day of the stabbing to say "I've done something bad", a court has heard.

Sarah Fry, the mother of Darren Pencille's son, received a call during the evening from the accused and later a text message saying: "I'm sorry. I love you both."

Lee Pomeroy, 51, was stabbed by 36-year-old Mr Pencille five minutes after boarding a London-bound train at Guildford, Surrey, on January 4 with his 14-year-old son.

On the night of the attack, Ms Fry says she received a call from Mr Pencille at around 9.30pm.

"He said, 'I've done something bad today and you'll later see it in the news'," she said.

She added: "I disconnected the call and that's the last time I spoke to him. That's all that was said."

Jurors have previously heard how it is claimed a row which erupted between the IT consultant and Pencille was over the blocking of an aisle.

Ingrid Robertson, the defendant's mother, told the court under questioning by Justin Rouse QC, representing Pencille, that when her son was in his 20s she was told he was paranoid schizophrenic.

She said he had been admitted to hospital on a few occasions, had a "fear of crowds", and struggled on public transport - sometimes ringing her in a panic saying he "needed to get off quickly".

"He always thought people were looking at him or wanted to do something to him," Ms Robertson told the court.

Witness Kayleigh Carter, who was asked by Mr Rouse QC, defending Pencille, whether Mr Pomeroy was picking on his client, said: “I wouldn’t say picking on him, but he was taunting him.”

Giving evidence from behind a screen, she told Jacob Hallam QC, prosecuting, that she saw an older man who had greyish hair and a younger black man enter the far end of her carriage.

She described to the court how they were talking at first, but not very loudly and directly to each other, adding: “It seemed like they had a tiff.”

Initially not paying too much attention, she said there was no mention of violence and that they then moved to the middle of the carriage towards her, with Mr Pomeroy following Pencille.

“I remember one of them, I do not remember which one, said ‘All I did was be in the way’. I thought it was really petty if it was just about that,” she said.

Ms Carter said the younger man was angry, but that she did not sense the same emotions from the older man, stating he was more “stern, stubborn and patronising”.

Hearing Mr Pomeroy say “I have never dealt with someone with special needs before”, Ms Carter said that was the first thing she heard that was “really fuelling the anger”.

She said Pencille then said “I am hearing voices right now”, which panicked her.

Ms Carter said Pencille picked up a phone and that she clearly heard him say “I am going to kill this man”, adding that she did not think the call was real as it went through quite quickly.

“I remember the other man’s response was exactly what I was thinking,” she told the court. “He said, ‘Well you got through really quickly’.”

She said that both of the men were saying they were going to fight at the next station, with the pair eventually becoming “really up and personal”, adding how “neither of them were backing down”.

Hearing Pencille call Mr Pomeroy a racist, she said he responded by saying that if anyone was a racist it was him.

With the argument continuing “for quite a while” and Pencille “really shouting”, she said her path out of the carriage was blocked.

Ms Carter said she saw Pencille strike Mr Pomeroy first, telling the court: “I saw blood straight away, I panicked after that because I had to run through it.”

Heading into another carriage and past the two men, she said blood ended up on her bag.

The court has previously heard how Mr Pomeroy, who was due to turn 52 the day after the “quick and frenzied attack”, was stabbed 18 times in 25 seconds.

Once the train stopped at Clandon station, the prosecution claim Pencille left the scene and then made his way past the home of Rowena Dodwell just before 1.15pm and into a woodland area.

Giving evidence, Ms Dodwell told the court how when she saw Pencille he was “sweating profusely and slightly distressed”.

“It was not usual to see someone go over a fence and come back – no-one goes over there,” she said of the private field, saying that Pencille told her he had been in an accident and needed to get back to work.

Heading into the field once he had left and she had posted on a neighbourhood watch group about him with a description, she said she discovered a hat with blood on the inside.

Afterwards, Pencille’s girlfriend, Chelsea Mitchell, 27, allegedly picked him up and bought hair clippers and razors for him to change his appearance.

Pencille, of no fixed address, denies murder, and Mitchell, of Farnham, Surrey, pleads not guilty to assisting an offender.

The trial continues.