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Murder Retrial: Defendant's son witnessed part of attack on FaceTime

Ian Anderson denies murdering 'rival' in 2013

*This report contains information which some readers may find distressing.

The son of a former Castletown resident accused of murder has told a jury he witnessed part of the attack on FaceTime.

Robert Anderson gave evidence at his father’s re-trial at Douglas Courthouse yesterday (16 May).

Ian Anthony Anderson, who is 55 today, is accused of murdering Neil Edward Roberts in 2013.

You can find out more HERE.


Mr Anderson’s son told the jury he could hear ‘screaming, shouting and smashing’ during calls made on the 30 November and in the early hours of 1 December that year.

He described how Ian Anderson had been ‘in good spirits’ during the day and was excited about the recent birth of his grandson adding: “He was buzzing.”

However Robert Anderson highlighted how his father's mood had dipped when he spoke to him around midnight telling jurors: “He sounded depressed.”

He said his father had told him his mother wanted to be with the 60-year-old gardener, and no longer loved him, adding that he was ‘calm’ but with a ‘sad undertone’.

Requests to leave

Mr Roberts was at the Anderson’s cottage, on Queen Street, at the time of the call – something Robert Anderson said he questioned.

He told the court he heard his father making repeated ‘stern’ requests asking Mr Roberts to leave.  

Robert Anderson claimed that he could hear Mr Roberts becoming ‘aggressive’ and ‘agitated’ before the video call started ‘waving about’.

“Something happened and my dad shouted, ‘he’s hit me’,” he told the court.

When he saw his father on screen again he said his face was covered in blood, severely swollen and he appeared ‘out of it’.

“In my head my dad has been attacked,” he told jurors: “I’m worried about what’s happening to my dad. I could hear the shouting and the commotion.”

Call logs

Jurors were provided with call logs showing the number of calls, and the duration of the contacts, made between the Anderson family during the time it’s alleged Mr Roberts was murdered.

Details of a 999-call made by Robert Anderson – who was attempting to summon help from his location in the United Kingdom – were also provided.

First impressions

Robert Anderson was also asked about the first time he’d met Neil Roberts, at a pub in Castletown, at the start of 2012.

Describing him as ‘sleazy but funny’ he said he’d observed him being ‘a real flirt’ with his mother and towards other women.

He also described how Mr Roberts allegedly owed his father money for work that he had done for him at the start of 2013 when he’d lost his job at Ronaldsway Aircraft Company.

“Every time I went to the Isle of Man I disliked Neil a little bit more,” he told jurors – revealing that Mr Roberts would turn up uninvited at pubs and restaurants the family was visiting.

Messages exchanged between Robert Anderson and Mr Roberts - in which Mr Anderson had accused him of ‘brainwashing’ his mother – were also shown to the jury.

In response Mr Roberts had told Mr Anderson that his father was bullying his mother and he’d fallen in love with her adding: “Your dad’s brought this on himself.”


The court was also told Mr Roberts turned up at Robert Anderson’s home, in Birmingham, uninvited in August 2013 as well as at a local pub in the area and Mrs Anderson’s parents’ home.

He reportedly told Robert Anderson he’d travelled to the UK to ‘get his story across’ telling him: “She’s had enough of your dad. She loves the Island and me.”

When asked by defence advocate Crispin Aylett KC what impact this had on his father, between July and November 2013, Robert Anderson told the court: “He was quite stressed.

“I think my mum was playing them off against each other.”

Robert Anderson also confirmed he’d told police, in his witness statement made in 2013, that his dad was suffering from weight loss and high blood pressure adding: “Dad’s emotions have spiralled over the last few months.”


Ian Anderson denies murdering Neil Edward Roberts.

The trial continues.

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