LiveAS IT HAPPENED - Stephan Hollow murder trial, day eight

First published in News
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by , Senior Reporter

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  • Eighth day of trial of William Smith, 28, of Pershore Road, Popley
  • Smith is accused of murdering Stephan Hollow, 53, on August 19 last year, outside Mr Hollow's home in Blackdown Close, Buckskin
  • He is also accused of the wounding with intent of Mr Hollow's son Tyler


The jury are told that Smith is still not feeling well, and the judge calls a halt to today's proceedings.


The judge rises for a short break.


Mr Mousley asks Smith why he didn't tell his mother what had happened.

"This was a violent situation and I would not speak to my mum about that. I do not like to scare my mum," he says.

Smith adds he was not thinking straight when he left the house in new clothing, having out his wet clothes in a bag.


Mr Mousley tells Smith he did a "pretty good job" of cleaning himself and the bathroom of his mother's house.

Smith says he did not know Stephan Hollow was dead, but he says he was at this time thinking about what the police would make of the fight.

Smith says: "I would like people to remember if you were involved in that, what would you do?"

But he says he was not thinking of "forensic science" when he started cleaning himself.


Smith says he then went to his mother's address in Dorset Crescent, Buckskin, looking for help from his younger brother Sam.

When he could not find his brother, he went into the bathroom, because he was feeling sick, he says.


Mr Mousley asks why he did not call for an ambulance for Stephan Hollow. Smith says: "Hindsight is a wonderful thing. I was so scared and I just wanted to run and I could not fathom a single thought."


Smith is asked about when he left Blackdown Close and went to the house of his brother Andrew Smith, in Berwyn Close, also in Bucksin.

The jury is told of the evidence of Melanie Smithson, the girlfriend of Smith's brother, who said she heard Smith say he had stabbed someone.

Smith tells the court he probably did say that, but that it didn't mean the stabbing was deliberate.


Mr Mousley asks why Smith did not tell Miss Hards at the scene what had happened. Smith says he got up, walked away and saw Tyler Hollow running after him, so he ran away.


Mr Mousley starts by asking Smith if he killed Stephan Hollow. "I believe so," Smith says. But he confirms his version that it was in self-defence.


The jury return to court. They are told by the judge, Mr Justice Burton, that Smith is not feeling very well, but will carry on giving evidence.

William Mousley, prosecuting, starts his cross-examination.


The trial breaks for lunch.


He says during this time he tried to kill himself by slitting his wrists with a rock. He says he feared going back to prison and not being able to see his children.


Smith says the fight ended when Stephan Hollow fell towards him and had stopped fighting. Smith says he managed to get up and run away, going first to his brother's house, and then his mother's, which was also nearby.

He says he was covered in blood and wretching, so had a shower at his mother's house while still fully-clothed. He then got changed and ran away, having assumed the Hollows, and then the police, would be after him, he tells the court.


Smith says he was attacked by Stephan Hollow, and then also Tyler Hollow. During the course of that attack, he felt cold metal against his cheek.

He says: "Halfway through the struggle I realised it was a knife. I became aware of it because I grabbed hold of it by the handle.

"It was like a continuous thing. I was trying to fight back and protect myself so I grabbed it and automatically used it. I just started to use it."


Tyler Hollow went back to the house at one point and came out with a claw hammer, which he used like a gun as he and Smith argued, Smith says.

Smith says a bare-chested man, who he now knows was Stephan Hollow, then came down the garden and grabbed Smith, pushing him out of the garden.

Stephan Hollow then punched Smith, knocking him to the floor, Smith says.


Smith says he went into the garden and spoke to Miss Hards, before Tyler Hollow appeared. Smith says Tyler was "acting like a clown", using his fingers like a gun and threatening Smith "with a silly accent".


Smith says when he was on the phone to Miss Hards he was walking around Buckskin, and he saw a light, possibly a cigarette, and says he saw Miss Hards in a garden.

Mr Wood asks him if he went there with a knife. "No," says Smith.

Mr Wood asks him if he wanted to harm Miss Hards, Tyler Hollow or anyone else. "No," says Smith.


Smith resumes giving evidence after a short break.


On Sunday, Smith says he went to see his children again, and spent the day with them. Afterwards, he went to see one of his brothers, called Andrew.

Smith says he drank vodka and was offered and took cocaine. At 3am, having been invited to stay with his brother, he was messaging Miss Hards on Facebook. He says she then called him, and he asked to meet up with her and Tyler.

Smith says it was not a sensible idea to want to speak to Miss Hards and Tyler Hollow that morning.

The court also hears Smith had sent a friend request to Tyler Hollow that evening, asking if he could have a "man-to-man" about Smith's children.


Smith says he was not getting much sleep at the May Place hostel, as it is in the town centre and near a nightclub.


The jury hears of messages exchanged between Smith and Megan Hards. This involves messages about Smith seeing their three children, which he did on Friday, August 16. 

On Saturday, he did community service given for the battery offence, he says, before again going to South Ham to see his children. There he argued with Miss Hards, over presents her new boyfriend Tyler Hollow had given to the children, he says.


Smith later moved to the May Place hostel, in the town centre, when his mother had to downsize her council house due to the 'bedroom tax', the court hears.

Mr Wood then takes Smith to the weekend of August 16 - 18.


The jury hears Smith lost that job when he was sentenced to two years imprisonment for an assault and possession of an offensive weapon. By this stage, Smith says he was in a relationship with Megan Hards.

On his release in 2010, he moved in with Miss Hards in Oakridge, but their relationship fell apart in early 2013. In February 2013, Smith says he admitted battery against Miss Hards at their home in Oakridge, and after that, he packed his bags and moved in with his mother.


Michael Wood, defending, is asking Smith about his past. The court hears Smith moved to South Ham with his mother when he was 14. He studied engineering at college, before getting an apprenticeship at Lansing Linde. When the company ceased trading, Smith became a warehouse operative at the Sainsbury's depot in Basingstoke, the jury hears.


Smith steps into the witness box. He is wearing a blue shirt with a white collar, dark trousers and a tie.


Hello and welcome to court two of Winchester Crown Court for day eight of the trial of William Smith.

Smith, 28, of Pershore Road, Popley, has denied murdering Stephan Hollow and the wounding with intent of Mr Hollow's son Tyler.

Smith is expected to give evidence this morning.

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