Heroin dealer Darren Archer denies killing antiques dealer Peter Battle

Gazette & Herald: Peter Battle Peter Battle

A HEROIN dealer with a conviction for mugging an old man riding a mobility scooter has denied murdering an businessman.

Darren John Archer also denied robbing a gold dealer in York with Graham Richardson, whom police believe killed antique dealer Peter Battle in Full Sutton, near Pocklington.

“I’m no angel,” Archer told the jury at Teesside Crown Court. “It worries me, the past, but the past is the past.”

Richardson, 27, of Riverside View in Norton, is the only man charged with Mr Battle’s murder, which he denies.

He alleges Archer and three other men killed Mr Battle in a botched robbery on December 30 that he helped to set up.

Archer, 43, of Nunnery Lane in York, denies robbing Mr Cleaver. So does Archer’s cousin, Peter Egan, 47, formerly of Walmgate, York. Richardson admits the York robbery.

Archer said Richardson was only a drugs client, not a friend, and said: “He doesn’t know me well enough to talk about a robbery.”

He told the jury he met Richardson twice on December 9, but he never went to Carnot Street, off Leeman Road, York, where the prosecution alleges they and Egan robbed Michael Cleaver.

He said he sold Richardson heroin in the early evening before going to Egan’s home to inject him with steroids for “bad hands”, and later the same evening had sold Richardson heroin and cocaine for £100. He had not seen Richardson since, he said. Money found on him came from drug dealing and working as a labourer.

Archer said he never went to Full Sutton and had never heard the name Peter Battle before the court case. He said police had investigated his activities very thoroughly.

“I haven’t done it,” he said of the murder. “You ask my mum where I was on December 30.”

Archer said he was on parole at the time from a 45-month sentence for an attempted robbery on a short-sighted man.

He had also robbed an old man on a mobility scooter before then and had two previous convictions for possessing heroin with intent to supply it to others, as well as convictions for theft, burglary and handling stolen goods.

The trial continues.

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