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.

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Arts and Entertainment
Highs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
News
news
New Articles
i100... with this review
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
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

Cover Supervisor

£75 - £90 per day + negotiable: Randstad Education Group: Are you a cover supe...

Marketing Manager - Leicestershire - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...

Marketing Executive (B2B and B2C) - Rugby, Warwickshire

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...

SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam