Close friend fell out with murder victim over affair

The friend of a man stabbed to death more than 13 years ago said that they fell out after the victim started to see another woman while married, a jury heard yesterday.

Richard Roberts said that he and Marcus Gibbings, who was killed in 2006, had been “very close”.

But he said that the two men, originally from Trinidad, had “pulled apart a little bit” after Mr Gibbings started a relationship with Katrina Burgess while still with his then wife.

Mr Roberts explained: “I just wasn’t happy about the decision he made. He had said he wanted to send back his wife and kids to Trinidad.

“It was causing friction — him being married and wanting to see Katrina at the same time.”

Mr Roberts told jurors that he did not want to be around Mr Gibbings and Ms Burgess.

He said: “We would acknowledge each other — but not chum-chum buddies like we were before.”

The body of Mr Gibbings, 32, was found inside an apartment on Derwent Lane, in Devonshire, on October 26, 2006.

Ms Burgess, Mr Gibbings’s ex-girlfriend, and her half-brother Cleveland Rogers are charged with the premeditated murder of Mr Gibbings.

The prosecution has claimed that Mr Gibbings was lured to an apartment he had shared with Ms Burgess and was stabbed to death by Mr Rogers.

Both deny the charge.

Mr Roberts said that he and Mr Gibbings had reconciled “a couple of months” before his death.

He added that Mr Gibbings had been living with Ms Burgess at the time the men renewed their friendship.

Mr Roberts told Carrington Mahoney, for the Crown, that he had spoken to Mr Gibbings on October 25, 2006, and that the two had planned to have drinks that night.

He said that he learnt of Mr Gibbings death the next day when he got a telephone call from police.

Mr Roberts added that he drove to Mr Gibbings’s new apartment on Loyal Hill and then to the apartment he had shared with Ms Burgess on Derwent Lane after he was notified.

Marc Daniels, for Mr Rogers, asked Mr Roberts if there were a lot of people at the crime scene at Derwent Lane when he arrived.

Mr Roberts said there were. He added that he did not go inside the apartment.

Mr Roberts said that he had spoken to Michaelangelo James, who had discovered Mr Gibbings’s body, and that Mr James had told him about what he had seen in the apartment.

He agreed with Mr Daniels that he relayed information from Mr James to Mr Gibbings’s ex-wife.

Mr Roberts said that he had been at the morgue at the same time as Mr Gibbings’s ex-wife, who arrived in Bermuda on October 28.

He added that he saw her kiss Mr Gibbings’s head and that she had requested a lock of his hair.

The trial continues.

It is The Royal Gazette’s policy not to allow comments on stories regarding criminal court cases. This is to prevent any statements being published that may jeopardise the outcome of that case.

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