MURDER TRIAL: Police outline chilling timeline surrounding death of Gemma Stevens
Police investigating the death of Gemma Stevens and the fire at her home pulled together a timeline of evidence with witness statements, CCTV footage and numerous phone calls.
The Stafford Crown Court trial heard how Gary Tyson, 36, of Shirland Street, Chesterfield allegedly recruited his cousin Jamie Bray, 26, of Kingsclere Walk, Grangewood, Chesterfield, to help destroy evidence.
Shirland Street couple Daniel and Natalie James gave evidence that on February 26 Gemma Stevens had been seen lying curled up on the pavement outside Tyson’s home saying he had been trying to strangle her. Tyson later claimed to psychiatrist Dr Andrew Bickle he had been asking her to leave because of a noise complaint.
Taxi driver Mohammed Khan stated Tyson had been with Gemma Stevens in his cab in the early hours of March 2 and the defendant had warned her to make sure she did not call him a snitch or he might do something he would regret.
The court heard how Gemma Stevens’ mother Janet Stevens last spoke to her daughter on the morning of March 2 to remind her about a GP appointment and that morning a neighbour reported she had heard banging from the property.
Police confirmed Tyson was spotted on CCTV leaving Catherine Street at 11.16am, on March 2.
Carol Smith, who is a grandparent of Gemma Stevens’ children, had been caring for two of the youngsters and the eldest was living with other grandparents.
Ms Smith made repeated calls to Gemma Stevens which went unanswered during March 2, according to police, and she got no response when she visited Catherine Street.
Gemma Stevens’ mother Janet Stevens also made unanswered calls to Gary Tyson.
Prosecuting solicitor Michael Auty QC revealed how Tyson had visited acquaintance David Hicklin’s home in the afternoon and Mr Hicklin stated he had noticed Tyson’s training shoes and jeans stained with blood.
Tyson’s auntie Ruth Bray confirmed Tyson spent the evening at her home from 5.45pm, on March 2, at St Augustine’s Drive, Chesterfield, watching television.
Police confirmed Tyson arrived at Jamie Bray’s home just before midnight, on March 2, and they left after 25 minutes and CCTV footage captured them walking along to Chatsworth Road to the back of the old Robinson’s factory.
Catherine Street resident Ibrar Khan stated he heard noises near Gemma Stevens’ property about 1.30am, on March 3, and neighbour, Deaton Josephs, revealed he heard popping sounds before discovering the house ablaze and alerting the fire service about 2am, on March 3.
CCTV footage showed Tyson carrying two bags along Shirland Street about 7.30am, on March 3, and he returned 15 minutes later no longer carrying the bags and Mr Auty QC claimed Tyson had been disposing of evidence.
Police arrested Tyson at 4.22pm, on March 3, at his home and psychiatrist Dr Andrew Bickle confirmed Tyson had to be taken to hospital where he was treated for a suspected drug overdose.
Tyson has pleaded not guilty to murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility but he has admitted killing Gemma Stevens and has admitted committing arson.
Mr Bray has pleaded not guilty to arson and has also pleaded not guilty to assisting an offender.
The trial continues.