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Jury considering verdicts for second day in trial of stepfather accused of murdering toddler

PUBLISHED: 11:39 29 November 2017 | UPDATED: 11:39 29 November 2017

David Dearlove arrives at Teesside Crown Court where he is charged with murdering his stepson 50 years ago. David Dearlove, 71, denies swinging Paul Booth, 19 months, by the ankles against a fireplace in 1968. Photo: Scott Heppell/PA Wire

David Dearlove arrives at Teesside Crown Court where he is charged with murdering his stepson 50 years ago. David Dearlove, 71, denies swinging Paul Booth, 19 months, by the ankles against a fireplace in 1968. Photo: Scott Heppell/PA Wire

A jury is considering its verdicts for a second day in the trial of a Great Yarmouth man accused of murdering a toddler almost 50 years ago.

David Dearlove, 71, denies swinging his stepson Paul Booth, then 19-month-old, by the ankles against a fireplace in 1968.

The grandfather, of Wolseley Road, Great Yarmouth, told Teesside Crown Court that the little boy, the youngest of his partner’s three children, fell out of bed at the family home in Haverton Hill, Stockton, Teesside.

Dearlove denies murder and child cruelty charges.

MORE: David Dearlove to appear in court accused of murdering boy aged 18 months

Paul’s brother, Peter Booth, told the jury that, when he was three years old, he crept downstairs to get a drink and saw Dearlove swing the toddler against the mantelpiece.

Paul died from head injuries in hospital later that night.

Police investigated at the time but no charges were brought and an inquest recorded an open verdict.

MORE: Great Yarmouth man kept toddler’s ‘murder secret for fifty years’ - court hears

The matter came to light again in 2015 when Peter Booth went to the police after becoming incensed at seeing a Facebook photo of Dearlove with his little brother on his knee.

Peter Booth and his sister, Stephanie, alleged that Dearlove was physically abusive towards them before he split with their mother, Carol, who has since died.

Dearlove, from Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, told the court he moved to London after the break-up, married, had two daughters and is now a grandfather.

He denies harming any of the children and the jury has heard he has no previous convictions.

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