A woman accused of involvement in a brutal murder told police that the killer had threatened to do the same to her.

Nicola Bedford was quizzed about the killing of 50-year-old Martin Ackroyd following her arrest in May, but she claimed she was not in the room when he was murdered by Surjit Singh Sidhu.

Sidhu, 49, had been awaiting trial in relation to previous incidents involving Mr Ackroyd and 30-year-old Nicola Bedford, but in her police interviews she said that Sidhu had been invited to the flat on April 30 so that things could be sorted out between them all.

Bedford, who denies the murder charge, claimed that they were all drinking together and that Mr Ackroyd had told Sidhu about his plan to use some compensation money from a previous assault to help him get a pub and move away.

Bedford, who also claimed that the murder victim had wanted her to marry him, said Sidhu became angry and she tried to intervene as the two men confronted each other.

She told police that she went into the hallway because she was upset, but could hear Sidhu hurting Mr Ackroyd.

Bedford said when she went back in Sidhu was trying to wrap a cord around Mr Ackroyd’s neck and she told him not to do it. She claimed that Sidhu threatened her with the same thing if she didn’t get out so she went back into the hall from where he could hear “a horrible rustling sound” as Sidhu put a plastic bag over his victim’s head.

The jury heard how Sidhu dragged Mr Ackroyd’s body into the bathroom where it was slung in the bath and covered with clothes and a duvet.

Bedford said she felt physically sick and claimed that Sidhu told her she couldn’t speak to anyone.

After leaving the locked flat the pair later returned so that Sidhu wipe away his fingerprints and dispose of DNA evidence, but Bedford said Sidhu told her that she had go with him because she was implicated in the killling. “He said you’re implicated as much as me... you’re going down too,”claimed Bedford.

“He said he would do the same thing to me. I was scared.”

The jury has heard that Sidhu, of New Hey Road, Oakes, has admitted murdering the 50-year-old during the attack at his flat in Ashenhurst Rise, Newsome.

 

Mr Ackroyd was punched and kicked before being tied to a bed and strangled with a piece of cable from a DVD recorder.

Bedford, of Blackers Court, Thornhill Lees, Dewsbury, has pleaded not guilty to murder, but the prosecution has alleged that she tried to pin the blame for the killing on Sidhu.

The trial continues.