By Rob George Wednesday 05 December 2012 Updated: 06/12 16:03
THE MAN accused of murdering Jackie Harrison in her Dines Green flat has denied ever attacking the 48-year-old during their relationship.
William Cummins was visibly emotional as he took to the stand on day 11 of the trial as the defence formally opened their case.
Asked directly by defence counsel Richard Benson QC whether he killed Miss Harrison, Cummins said: “No”.
He told the court he had known Miss Harrison for a number of years as friends and said they embarked on a "casual, sexual relationship" last year.
Cummins, of no fixed abode, described himself as homeless and said he contacted Miss Harrison in July 2011 when he was released from prison in Liverpool.
After visiting his mum in Birmingham, Cummins said he phoned Miss Harrison who said she was at Lenny Scarrott's home.
According to Cummins, Miss Harrison was not pleased to see him and he decided to carry on to Weymouth where he had friends.
“It was obvious to me something was going on between those two (Miss Harrison and Mr Scarrott) so I thought eff this and I took my dog and left.” Cummins told the court.
He said he boarded the train down south without a ticket and was thrown off at Leamington Spa as a result.
Asked where he lived during that time, Cummins said he moved around Leamington, sleeping in his tent, until he was arrested for Miss Harrison's murder in April.
The former council maintenance worker told the jury he became an alcoholic around 20 years ago after his marriage broke down and he lost his job.
Injuries to his back and leg while training in the Territorial Army combined with an attack which left him with injuries to his right leg meant he was unable to work.
Cummins said he first met Miss Harrison while drinking on the streets of Lowesmoor when she was dating ex-boyfriend Sammy Wilson.
Questioned about Miss Harrison's relationship with Mr Wilson, Cummins said: “Those two were like a Punch and Judy show at the time.
“I would never attack Jackie, in fact I stopped Sammy Wilson hitting her over the head with a wine bottle one time,” he added.
Cummins denies murdering Miss Harrison.
The trial continues tomorrow (Thursday).
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