Woman 'sat numb as girl burned': Court told of teenager's screams

A WOMAN accused of murdering Suzanne Capper told Manchester Crown Court yesterday how she saw the 16-year- old set on fire. 'I was numb. I was scared,' Jean Powell said on the 10th day of the trial.

Ms Powell, 26, one of five people who deny murdering the girl, said that she sat in the car while three of the other accused took Suzanne into woods at a remote spot called Werneth Low, near Stockport.

All five had brought Suzanne from Moston, Greater Manchester, 15 miles away.

'I saw a flash. I turned round and looked and saw Suzanne in flames. She was screaming,' Ms Powell told Peter Openshaw QC, for the prosecution.

Mr Openshaw asked Ms Powell, of Moston, if she was concerned with the plight of Suzanne. She said: 'I was numb. I was scared.'

Ms Powell insisted that she believed Suzanne would be freed at the wood but agreed Suzanne was removed from a house where she was held prisoner because Suzanne's sister, Michelle, had said the sisters' stepfather was going to tell police she was missing.

Asked what Suzanne would have done after she was dumped alive, Ms Powell replied: 'Probably gone home.'

Ms Powell agreed Suzanne was taken into the wood that night in December wearing only knickers and leggings.

Under re-examination by her defending counsel, Jack Price QC, she said she did not see anyone pour petrol on Suzanne. Asked if she knew who poured the petrol and set fire to her, she replied: 'No'.

Ms Powell's estranged husband, Glyn Powell, 28, Bernadette McNeilly, 24, Jeffrey Leigh, 26, and Anthony Dudson, 17, all of Moston, are also accused of the murder.

Clifford Pook, 18, also of Moston, was cleared of murder last week on the direction of the judge. Ms Powell, Mr McNeilly and Mr Pook have all pleaded guilty to false imprisonment, a charge the others deny.

Mr Pook has admitted conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm, which is denied by the other five.

Anthony Dudson, 17, said that he had sexual relationships with co-accused Jean Powell and Bernadette McNeilly - as well as with Suzanne Capper.

In November, Mr Dudson contracted pubic lice, or 'crabs', went to see a doctor and had his pubic hair shaved. Ms McNeilly told him she thought that he had caught them from Suzanne.

'I told Jean I thought I got them from Bernie (McNeilly),' he told the court.

Mr Dudson described how Glyn Powell later shaved Suzanne's head in the kitchen. Mr Dudson admitted helping to shave Suzanne's head but claimed it was because he was 'scared' of Glyn Powell.

Ms McNeilly then told Suzanne to go upstairs and shave off her (Suzanne's) pubic hair. Suzanne did so without protesting because she was 'too scared', Mr Dudson said.

The case continues today.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
people
News
A survey carried out by Sainsbury's Finance found 20% of new university students have never washed their own clothes, while 14% cannot even boil an egg
science...and the results are not as pointless as that sounds
Sport
Sean Abbott
cricketSean Abbott is named Australia's young cricketer of the year
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Supply Chain Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company is a leading expert in immunoassa...

Recruitment Genius: Online Customer Service Advisor

£13000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A chance to work for an extreme...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Are you a breath of fresh air? This vibrant bo...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - PHP

£16500 - £16640 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing Finance compa...

Day In a Page

Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea