Quhey Saunders: Man beaten to death with builder's tools at M25 service station 'started the fight', court hears

Defendants Simon Baker and Mikey Coyle allege victim raised his arm as though 'about to strike' during fatal road rage dispute in Cobham, Surrey

Emily Pennink
Friday 17 November 2017 12:22
Quhey Saunders
Quhey Saunders

A young man raised his arm as if he was “about to strike” moments before he was beaten to death with a plasterer's whisk during a brawl at an M25 service station, jurors heard.

Quhey Saunders, 20, was unarmed when he suffered catastrophic head injuries during the fight at Cobham service station in Surrey on the afternoon of 26 June, jurors have heard.

Simon Baker, 22, and Mikey Coyle, 21, are on trial at the Old Bailey charged with the murder of Mr Saunders, from Stanford-le-Hope, Essex.

Coyle had allegedly armed himself with a shovel and Baker with a large industrial whisk during the confrontation with the victim..

The court has heard how Coyle was heard shouting “I'm the man, I'm the man”, before Baker allegedly delivered the fatal blow.

Jurors were shown CCTV from the service station shop which showed the moments before Mr Saunders received the injury from which he died two days later.

Staff and customers looked on as Baker appeared to back away from Mr Saunders just before the killer blow, which happened out of view, the court heard.

James Scobie QC, defending, suggested Baker's stance with left arm raised was “giving the impression, you might think, of effectively stopping him (Mr Saunders) coming forward”.

Detective Constable Portia Andrews, of Surrey Police, who was presenting the footage, said it was unclear, but agreed it was one interpretation.

Commenting on the footage, Mr Scobie went on: “We are going to see the right arm of Quhey raised high, Baker going back, and Quhey going towards him as if he is about to strike him.”

Baker and Coyle's van

Members of Mr Saunders' family sat in court to watch the footage, which did not show the exact moment Baker struck him with the whisk.

The court has heard how the victim had been returning home from a family wedding in Wales in a Ford Focus with a friend, aunt and uncle.

They decided to stop for refreshments around the time the defendants, travelling in a van loaded with building tools, also pulled into the forecourt.

As they made to drive off, Coyle and Baker allegedly recognised the victim and turned back, going the wrong way on a roundabout to park in front of the Ford Focus “spoiling for a confrontation”.

Days after the fight, Baker handed himself in to police, saying he had acted in “self-defence”.

Baker, of Green Lane, Outwood, near Redhill, and Coyle, of Barnes, south west London, deny murder.

PA