A WITNESS has told jurors she saw the attack that killed a 55-year-old man from the window of her flat. Katie Recknall told the Old Bailey today that she saw a man and woman prosecutors say are the defendants stamp on David Petch's head and hit him with a baseball bat. Partners Jason Lodge, 39, and Cherri Gilmartin, 37, who lived together in Uvedale Crescent, New Addington, deny murdering Mr Petch, claiming self-defence. Mr Petch died four days after the alleged attack on April 14 2012, which took place on the doorstep of his home in Wayside, New Addington. Gilmartin later told police she had gone to see Mr Petch to tell him to stop dealing cocaine to her sister, prosecutors say. Ms Recknall said Gilmartin first banged on her door, in Wayside, late in the evening, demanding "Where's Petty." She added: "She was on her own at first and then was joined by a tall white man [Lodge]. "They seemed drunk; they did not really seem calm people." Ms Recknall and her partner eventually closed the door on the pair, but, hearing arguing, she opened her window and saw Gilmartin running towards Mr Petch with a baseball bat. She said: "She hit him, I don't know where she hit him, but she hit him above his waistline. "She swung the bat – above her shoulder, forward. "It looked hard and fast." Seconds later she saw Lodge pinning Petch's arms behind his back and telling Gilmartin: 'Hit him', she said. She added: "So she hit him in the ribs which caused the elderly man to go down on the floor." She saw Lodge stamping on his face, she added, and heard Gilmartin say while running away: 'That is what you get for giving my granddaughter cocaine'. A roughly 20-year-old man passing by then put a quilt on Mr Petch to keep him warm until an ambulance arrived, Ms Recknall said. The jury also heard from another neighbour, Dawn Retter, who said Gilmartin and Lodge had also knocked on her door looking for Mr Petch. Ms Retter said: "[Gilmartin] told me "open the f***ing door." "[ was] a little bit scared, not really used to that sort of thing." Gilmartin and Lodge were arrested three days later when they attended Croydon police station after having "fled" to Rye, East Sussex, prosecutors said. Lead prosecutor Simon Denison QC said Gilmartin had told police she wanted to tell Mr Petch to stop dealing cocaine to her sister Laura Field. He said: "She said in her interview that David Petch was a well-known supplier of cocaine on the estate and that he had been supplying her sister Laura with cocaine for years. "And said she had heard from her [Laura's] social worker about heroin in her supply as well. "And she said Laura was now unwell and she had decided to go and speak to Mr Petch and ask him to stop selling cocaine to her." She had also told police, Mr Denison said, that the pair had found Mr Petch's door ajar and he agreed to talk to them. He said: "[She said] she had been talking with Petch in his living room, while Lodge was outside, when Petch went upstairs and reappeared with a baseball bat. "She says when he came downstairs he was holding a baseball bat and at that time Lodge was walking back into the flat and says Petch swung the bat at Jason Lodge "Lodge grabbed him and the two men were then wrestling with each other […] She says as they were wrestling both men were getting hit with the bat." Mr Lodge suffered comparatively minor injuries, including a cut to his forehead. Spots of his blood was found on the baseball bat, which Gilmartin is said to have thrown onto a nearby roof. The court also heard that 6.9 grams of cocaine had been found in a locked box inside Mr Petch's flat, and £300 in cash separately elsewhere. Swabs taken from two spots of blood on Lodge's jeans, found in his house, contained Mr Petch's DNA, the court heard. In her police interview, Gilmartin denied having hit Mr Petch with the baseball bat. The trial, at the Old Bailey, continues.
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