'I was out jogging' says murder accused

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A man accused of murdering a sub-postmaster's son during an armed raid told a jury today that he was out jogging on the morning of the killing.

Anselm Ribera told Birmingham Crown Court that the "extensive" run on the day Craig Hodson-Walker was gunned down had covered at least eight or nine miles before ending at his mother's home.

The 34-year-old, of Topfield House, Druids Heath, Birmingham, denies murdering Mr Hodson-Walker at the Post Office and general store in Fairfield, Worcestershire, on January 9 this year.

Giving evidence in the eighth week of his trial, Ribera said he had set off for an early morning jog, possibly as early as 5.21am, on January 9.

The defendant, who also denies the attempted murder of Mr Hodson-Walker's father, said: "I would most definitely have gone for a run on that particular morning if I was going out at that time."

Ribera then took the jury through the route of the run, pointing out roads and areas on a map, including Wythall and Earlswood Lakes, on a computer screen.

"It is quite an extensive run," Ribera told the jury. "I would say, probably about eight or nine miles plus.

"I would have taken the iPod to assist me in the run.

"I must admit I wasn't running all the run because it was a bit far for me to run - it got to the stage where I did have to have a break and slow down."

The prosecution allege that Ribera fired three shots at the Fairfield Post Office and that three other men who also deny murder "knew perfectly well" that their co-defendant had a gun and was prepared to use it.

Earlier, Ribera told the jury he was in the habit of leaving trainers and a top at his mother's home.

Describing himself as an early riser, he told the court that he went out road-running once a week and also attended a gym.

"If I'm going to go for a run, I will go for a run in the morning," he said.

Under questioning by his barrister, Jerome Lynch QC, Ribera denied he had visited a BP petrol station with one of his co-defendants in a Ford Mondeo at 6.15am on January 9.

During his testimony, Ribera also stated that he had left his brother at the flat to wait in for workers who were due to replace the front door.