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Witness tells Lowestoft murder trial of victim's frailty

PUBLISHED: 10:05 08 October 2009 | UPDATED: 08:39 01 August 2010

Father-of-three John Vry.

Father-of-three John Vry.

A woman who saw a terminally ill Suffolk man being taken to an alleyway by two men shortly before they allegedly kicked him to death broke down in tears yesterday as she described how frail he looked.

A woman who saw a terminally ill Suffolk man being taken to an alleyway by two men shortly before they allegedly kicked him to death broke down in tears yesterday as she described how frail he looked.

Eser Colak told a jury at Ipswich Crown Court that she was a passenger in a car driven by her husband along London Road South, Lowestoft when she saw 55-year-old John Vry being held by two younger, fitter men.

She said the men were either side of Mr Vry and had hold of his arms.

Mrs Colak said she recognised Mr Vry but didn't know his name and had panicked when she saw what was happening to him.

“He wasn't looking strong. He looked ill, as if he had a problem. The boys with him looked strong and active. I just looked at the old man and it made me feel very bad.”

Asked by prosecution counsel Karim Khalil QC what the men were doing to Mr Vry she replied in broken English, “They were pushing him. They weren't going to make him happy.”

Mr Colak said she and her husband Ali were so concerned by what they had seen that they had turned their car round and had got a friend to contact the police.

When they went past the alleyway again shortly afterwards they could no longer see Mr Vry and the men.

Before the court are James Killingback, 22, of Denmark Road, Lowestoft and a 17-year-old youth who cannot be identified because of his age. They have denied murdering father-of-three Mr Vry in December last year.

It has been alleged that Mr Vry was “literally kicked to death” after being dragged into an alleyway by the defendants.

Mr Khalil has claimed that Mr Vry, who was suffering from cancer, was seen by witnesses holding on to a lamppost at the entrance of the alleyway trying to resist the men shortly before he was subjected to a violent attack during which he received repeated blows to his head.

Mr Vry had been given a life expectancy of between three and six months by doctors last summer and by the time of the alleged attack in December he was “plainly not a strong man”, said Mr Khalil.

On the evening of December 3 last year Mr Vry, who had formerly worked as an electrician and a shopkeeper, had left his home in London Road South to by some chips and after calling in at the shop to check the closing time he had gone to a nearby shop to buy tobacco.

Mr Khalil alleged that after leaving the shop he was confronted by the defendants and dragged into the alleyway. Although he was still alive when paramedics arrived at the scene he died from his injuries in hospital the following day.

The trial continues today .

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