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Murder Retrial: 'I was fighting for my life' says accused

Jury hears defendant's account of fight in 2013

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

A former Castletown resident who’s accused of murdering his wife’s lover told police he was left ‘fighting for his life’ after a fight broke out between the pair.

Ian Anthony Anderson is being retried for the murder of Ballabeg man Neil Edward Roberts – he was killed in 2013.

Today (16 May) the jury was read excerpts of interviews the 54-year-old gave to police following his arrest, at his home on Queen Street, in the early hours of 1 December that year.

At Douglas Courthouse yesterday jurors were told Mr Anderson’s wife, Alison Anderson, was having an affair with the self-employed gardener – a situation described as an ‘open secret’.

You can find out more HERE.

30 November 2013

Mr Anderson was interviewed on 3 and 4 December 2013 after being arrested on suspicion of murder – he denied he was responsible for Mr Roberts’ death.  

He told officers that on the evening of 30 November he’d been relaxing at home with his wife when she’d received a call for help from Mr Roberts who’d claimed he’d crashed his car.

Describing how he’d gone to pick him up Mr Anderson said Mr Roberts was ‘very emotional’ and in an ‘up and down sort of mood’.

The duo went to The Bay Hotel in Port Erin for drinks before returning to the Castletown property.

It was here Mr Anderson claimed he’d told the pair: “It can’t go on like this” - adding they should be together if they loved each other before inviting them both to leave the cottage.

Trio of attacks

Mr Anderson told police this had caused Mr Roberts to become ‘agitated’ claiming that his wife’s lover then instigated the first of three attacks.

This, the jury heard, was whilst Mr Anderson was standing next to the fireplace on a Facetime call to his son in the United Kingdom.

The first punch was, Mr Anderson said, an ‘almighty smash’ to the side of his face which left him ‘blinded’.  

A second incident shortly after, in which more punches were thrown, saw Mr Anderson end up on top of Mr Roberts - on the sofa in the lounge - holding the man down by his throat.

“I was hurt – trying to protect myself,” he told detectives adding that his wife was trying to pull him off Mr Roberts.

Describing how he’d asked Mr Roberts to leave his home ‘seven to eight times’ - and warning him he would call the police - he added: “He just kept coming at me.”

It was, Mr Anderson alleged, Mr Roberts who was ‘very, very angry’ during the fighting.

“I was just upset,” he told detectives adding that he felt ‘dizzy and sick’ from an injury sustained to his head.

“I’m feeling like I’m going to get killed now. I thought I was going to die,” he added.

Detailing the third alleged attack Mr Anderson told detectives: “I’m just punching for my life now – punching and kicking.

“He just wouldn’t stop coming at me.”

Kicks and punches

Telling detectives he couldn’t remember where he had hit, or kicked, Mr Roberts he added that he’d only kicked out two to three times but had thrown ‘a lot’ of punches.

Describing how Mr Roberts stumbled and ‘slumped to the floor’ Mr Anderson said he’d continued to punch and kick out: “I used what I thought was reasonable force,” he added.

“What stopped the incident?” asked one detective.

“Alison was screaming saying ‘you’ve killed him, you’ve killed him’,” Mr Anderson responded.

Call for help

Mr Anderson told officers that it was ‘minutes’ between Mr Roberts being on the floor – and ‘no longer a threat’ – and him making a 999 call for help at 1.04am.

He claimed he checked Mr Roberts’ pulse and breathing and attempted mouth-to-mouth resuscitation before making the phone call adding that he’d also tried chest compressions.

“That situation got out of control because of him not backing off,” Mr Anderson added in interview.

Trial continues

Ian Anderson denies murder.

The trial will continue tomorrow (17 May).  

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