Full Sutton murder: Girlfriend rejects claims she offered to deliver accused ‘Christmas weed’

Gazette & Herald: Peter Battle Peter Battle

THE accused killer of antiques dealer Peter Battle was sent coded messages over Facebook by his drug dealer’s girlfriend offering him “Christmas weed,” a murder trial jury was told.

Graham Richardson was promised the cannabis as a “Crimbo” present by Darren Archer’s partner, Christine Baker, it was claimed.

Teesside Crown Court heard Richardson was texting Miss Baker most days about Miss Baker getting cannabis for him.

She referred to offering to deliver him some “Christmas weed” and had contacted him about this via Facebook on December 21 last year, the court heard.

But more recently Miss Baker adjusted her settings to deny Richardson access to many of her pictures, the court heard.

Her Facebook page was shown on court monitors for the jury. A solicitor logged on to her page to see what she shared with members of the public. The view then shifted to what Richardson would be able to access using his personal log in.

A general user was able to view all 1,150 of the images. But Richardson was able to see only 345 of the pictures.

Miss Baker said after being shown the two views: “I do not understand why that should be. I can’t explain that.”

But barrister Simon Csoka, for Richardson, suggested Archer had told Miss Baker that Richardson’s defence team had been looking at her photographs.

So she had changed her account settings so if Richardson went to her page two-thirds of the pictures would be blocked.

Mr Csoka accused Miss Baker of being “deliberate and calculating” in misleading the police.

But she replied: “Never in a million years. I told them everything I knew.”

But Mr Csoka continued: “You have been brought here to manufacture lies with Darren Archer because you love him and are proud of him.”

She denied being a cannabis dealer and said she did not know Archer was peddling heroin.

The mother of three, who is pregnant with a fourth child, said: “If you sell drugs you go to jail and lose your kids.

“It would never happen under my roof.”

Richardson alone is on trial for murdering 56-year-old Mr Battle but says he and Archer hatched the plot to rob him between them, a claim which Archer denies.

Richardson claims he found Mr Battle already dead after seeing Archer and three masked men fleeing the cottage in Full Sutton, near Pocklington, with bags of loot.

Archer claims to have been celebrating New Year with his family at the time of the attack.

Richardson, 27, of Riverside View, Norton, denies murdering Mr Battle.

Archer, 43, of Nunnery Lane, and his cousin Peter Egan, 47, formerly of Walmgate, both York, deny robbing York gold dealer Michael Cleaver, a few weeks before the murder.

• The trial continues.


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