Corby trap house robbery trial: Jury sees grim footage of incident that led to Wes Brown’s death

Jamie Magee is accused of going to a Corby house to rob the drug dealers living there

Tuesday, 2nd March 2021, 6:56 pm
Police at the scene of the incident on April 11, 2020. Image: JPI Media.

A court has heard how two Corby men went to a trap-house on the Shire Lodge estate to rob the dealers who lived there of money.

The robbery, which is denied by defendant Jamie Magee, ultimately led to the death of one of the pair, Wesley Brown, who was just 40-years-old.

A jury at Leicester Crown Court were yesterday (Monday, March 1) shown images of Mr Brown brutally attacking one of the occupants on April 11 last year. Some minutes later the police were called to adjacent Humber Walk where Mr Brown was found bleeding in the street after having suffered an accidental, self-inflicted injury with a Stanley knife. Despite being alive when police officers reached him, he died shortly afterward.

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The HMO in Derwent Walk is run by the Amicus Trust to house homless adults. Corby man Billy Hynds was one of the registered occupants of the house. Jacob Sawa was also staying in the property, and the men were using the property as a trap-house to deal drugs from.

Day one of the trial saw haunting CCTV footage from cameras inside and outside the property of Magee coming and going to the trap-house on the days leading up to April 11. Mr Sawa was shown putting money into a bumbag and handing items to Magee.

Magee, a drug addict who the court was told had previous convictions for robbery, and knife and Class-A drug possession, was driven to the property several days before the incident, on March 29, by his friend of 20 years Emma Wilkie. Ms Wilkie had given the defendant a job at her cafe on the Danesholme estate to try to help him get back on track.

She described to the jury how the man she saw as a little brother had been 'on his knees' asking how he was going to get off drugs.

"He was so determined, this time, to turn his life around and change," said a tearful Miss Wilkie.

The pair had gone to S2S for help but had found it closed.

She told the court that he had been suffering from withdrawal on March 29 and had asked her to take him to Deveron Walk, the street that runs adjacent to Derwent Walk.

In the car she heard him talking on the phone to someone called Billy asking for 'three for five'.

"I knew it was something illegal but not what type of drugs it was," she said.

The court saw CCTV footage of the 30-year-old going into the house on that evening and smoking what the prosecution claims were illegal drugs from a pipe, before leaving.

Ms Wilkie said that in the days before the robbery Magee had told her that the trap-house occupants were 'fa******' and that he was going to rob them.

Prosecuting, Nadia Silver said: "There's evidence that the occupants of that house were dealing drugs from that house and this defendant had bought drugs from them on an earlier date.

"He knew they had cash and a substantial amount of it and he knew where they kept it. That's why that address was targeted for the robbery."

In the early evening of April 10, Magee, of no fixed abode, had been to the house to buy drugs and had asked Hynds to cover up the CCTV with a sock, obscuring the picture.

Then a few hours later, at just after midnight on April 11, Magee, now with Wes Brown, was shown on camera again walking toward the property. Both could be seen on CCTV but Magee entered the property two minutes before Mr Brown, who went inside at about 12.15am.

The jury then saw footage of Mr Brown repeatedly punching Sawa before pushing him to the floor and scuffling with him for several minutes. Mr Brown was holding a knife and a knuckle duster.

Magee was shown on the footage leaving the house before coming back in through the living room window with a knife. The pair then both left the house through the window, with the prosecution alleging that Magee had the bumbag full of cash.

Mr Brown was found several minutes later by police who had been called to nearby Humber Walk. He was bleeding badly but managed to tell them that he had been in a fight, but not who with, before he lost consciousness.

A police dog tracked Mr Brown's blood back to the house in Derwent Walk where they found the furniture upturned and blood on the floor, windowsill, walls.

The mother of Mr Brown's children, and Jamie Magee's sister, Mel Magee received a phonecall from a person she knew at 1.20am to tell her that Mr Brown had been injured.

Giving evidence to the court, she said that she had then spoken to her brother Jamie on the phone and he had told her that they had been involved in a fight.

He had told Ms Magee that he had £1,600 and that £800 of that was Wes's. Concerned for his dad’s welfare, Ms Magee and Mr Brown's son had begun recording the call.

On the call, a devastated Mel said to her brother: "Is that all my kids' dad is worth? F****** £800? That's all he's worth?"

She said that she had asked Magee if he had robbed the trap house because there had been rumours that he was going to do so and that was the type of crime ‘he was known for’.

"He said he had the money and he was packing his bags," she said.

"I asked him why he was leaving if he hadn't done anything wrong. He just said he's getting out of Corby."

Two hours later Mr Magee again phoned his sister to find out how Mr Brown was but by then she had been visited by the police to tell her that the father of her children had died.

When she told Mr Magee what had happened, she said he 'wailed and cried.'

"He said he was going to kill himself," said Ms Magee, "because I blamed him for Wes dying."

She told the court that she had asked Mr Brown to spend some time with her brother as he had been struggling and she had not thought he would get involved in a robbery.

Magee was arrested two days later and answered no comment to most questions asked by police, but admitted that he had taken something from the house that night. He denies that what he took was Mr Sawa's property.

Jury members were told of a previous incident in 2017 where Magee had gone to the Shell garage in Kettering armed with a kitchen knife and grappled with a staff member before taking money from the cash register.

Although Magee admits that he was in the Derwent Walk house, he denies charges of robbery and possession of a knife in a public place.

The trial continues.