Trio handed £8k 'blood money' after 'beating naked dad to death', trial told

Doulton Road, Rowley Regis Credit: BPM Media

Three men who allegedly stripped a mechanic naked and beat him to death received £8,000 in 'blood money', a murder trial has heard. 

Simmion Goldbourne told Wolverhampton Crown Court he was handed cash after mechanic Carl Woodall, 44, suffered more than 140 injuries at an industrial estate in Rowley Regis, West Midlands.

But Goldbourne claimed he only took the money out of fear and never assaulted the dad-of-five at the unit where he lived and worked.

Giving evidence, Goldbourne said he felt "under duress" after seeing co-defendant Mark Campbell 'brutally attack' the victim.

Goldbourne said: "I wanted to leave, I was told I couldn't. I made a decision to comply. I told him "stop, let's go", he did not want to. Mr Woodall was alive when I left the unit."

Goldbourne, 28, of no fixed address; Campbell, 39, of Glaisdale Drive East, Nottingham; and James McGhee, 28, of Stanstead Avenue, Nottingham, all deny murdering Mr Woodall on June 28 last year. They are accused of joint enterprise murder.

Goldbourne recalled how he received £3,000, McGhee was given £2,400 and Campbell kept £2,600 along with up to £500-worth of coins.

The defendant did not want to "cause an argument" following the "attack" and so took his share of the money.

Carl Woodall was beaten to death in the early hours of June 28. Credit: Handout

John Ryder QC, defending Campbell, alleged the "blood money" was handed to Goldbourne because he had "earned it". 

Goldbourne said: "It could have been bribery money, it could have been money to keep my mouth shut."

Mr Ryder put it to the defendant: "It was you who attacked Mr Woodall?"

Goldbourne replied: "That's not the case, I did not attack this person."

Campbell had allegedly contacted Goldbourne and asked him to "commit a burglary", the court heard

Goldbourne said he was initially "hesitant" but signed up to "better his life" after struggling financially to run his business.

Goldbourne then recruited McGhee, a family friend, to act as a driver.

Goldbourne told how Campbell revealed on the journey to the Rowley Regis unit that drugs might be stored there.

Campbell also described how he had met "drug dealers" connected to the industrial unit while in prison who had recruited him to sell drugs.

When the trio arrived at the site on Doulton Road, they noticed lights were on inside a caravan on the site which Woodall lived in.

Goldbourne was handed a crowbar by Mr McGhee but claimed he was going to do "nothing with it".

Campbell then smashed the bottom panel of the caravan door as McGhee waited in the car, Goldbourne said.

Goldbourne told jurors: "I was scared. Nobody was meant to be there. As I saw [Woodall] coming towards me, it was a defence mechanism, I put my hands up.

"I went to go and leave. Campbell sandwiched me between him and the victim."

"I was in shock. I complied for some apparent reason - I don't know if it was shock or adrenaline," Goldbourne tells the court

Goldbourne went on to allege Campbell inflicted the injuries on 'wheeler-dealer' Mr Woodall - known to family and friends as Burt.

He said he tried to "diffuse" the situation but feared he too would be attacked by Campbell if he tried to flee the site.

Goldbourne said: "I left a phone for the victim so he could call an ambulance. [Campbell] was waving a machete around. He harmed another human being.

"I tried my best to help this person without putting myself in harm's way. I wasn't the one who harmed this person.

"I wasn't the one who brutally attacked this person or [did not show any] care or not heart for this person.

"Come on, he has got no heart, he has got no feelings. Don't accuse me of something I did not do."

Goldbourne confirmed he was "sickened" when he saw Mr Woodall being attacked.

He "wanted no part" in the assault and the experience will 'disturb him' for the rest of his life, the court heard.

Prosecutors allege Mr Woodall was beaten to death in the early hours of June 28 and left with 141 injuries inflicted with at least three weapons - a machete, large knife and wooden handle. 

He was "stripped naked" during the "sustained and deliberate" attack, and left wearing just a single sock, it is claimed.

CCTV footage captured a silver Nissan Qashqai driven along Doulton Road by McGhee with Goldbourne and Campbell as passengers at 1:15am. 

Goldbourne and Campbell are said to have entered Mr Woodall's caravan, where the first assault took place, before the victim was taken to the industrial unit and then "severely" beaten again.

McGhee remained at the car for two hours until his co-defendants returned at about 4:13am, prosecutors allege. 

During the trial, the court heard how Mr Woodall knew Campbell through his stepsons Cieran and Joshua - with the three men meeting while they served jail terms at HMP Birmingham in 2018.The trial continues.