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Man allegedly beaten up by members of west Norfolk family tells of fearing for his life

08:05 10 January 2014

Norwich Crown Court

Norwich Crown Court

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A man told a court he feared for his life after he was taken to a warehouse and beaten up by members of a west Norfolk family.

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Giving evidence via video link, the 41-year-old man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, said he was repeatedly punched and kicked so badly he thought his time was up.

Fighting back tears, the man, who is alleged to have been kidnapped and beaten by members of the family, said: “I was put on a plastic chair. I heard a voice say ‘Just do him – kill him’. One of them then picked up a metal pole and hit me on the knees, and then my ankles. I was in excruciating pain. I was so petrified I was going to lose my life.

“I was shown a tray and asked if I had seen it before. I then got another round of beatings. One of them started bashing me with the tray. I was on the floor and my lip had disintegrated and I was spitting out blood.

“I was just in disbelief this was happening to me. At that point, I did think that this was it. I thought if I was going to get it, my family were too.

“I said I had found the tray. I started telling them about the three men I had been selling stuff for, and at that point everything stopped.”

Norwich Crown Court has heard how trouble flared after the death of Gertrude Frankham, in December 2012, at her home in Walpole St Andrew. Mrs Frankham died of natural causes, and this was confirmed when her body was later exhumed, but members of her family were convinced she had been murdered.

Members of the family had asked the 41-year-old man if he knew who had burgled Mrs Frankham’s home, and he was taken by car to the warehouse for questioning.

Five defendants have already admitted their part in the incident. A total of seven defendants are on trial.

The trial continues.

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