Judge in rent boy murder trial says he will accept majority verdict
The judge in the case of a rent boy accused of murdering his lover after bleeding him dry financially, has told jurors he will accept a majority verdict.
Ricardo Pisano, 36, allegedly killed Michael Polding who he met in 2009 and lived with in Croydon, before following him down to the coast in Brighton.
Mr Polding's body was found by police two months after his death neatly positioned and wrapped up in bedding at his two-bedroom basement flat.
The 62-year-old died from a blunt force trauma to the chest in May, but was not discovered until July 16 2012.
Lewes Crown Court heard Mr Pisano met Mr Polding in December 2009 after he advertised himself as a rent boy in a gay magazine.
Prosecutor Philip Katz QC told the court Mr Pisano and other friends had effectively bled Mr Polding dry financially, while the defendant pretended to act as his carer.
Mr Pisano evaded capture for nearly a year until he was arrested at a house in Southampton on May 7, under a different name.
He told the court he returned home to find Mr Polding, who he called St Mikes, had committed suicide by hanging himself from a bannister.
He told the court he fled the scene because he feared deportation to South Africa where a "fatwa" had been issued against him by People Against Gangsterism and Drugs (Pagad) who deemed him "troublesome or a threat."
Mr Pisano denies murder and causing grievous bodily harm, but has admitted preventing the lawful and decent burial of a body.
The jury has been sent home for the weekend and will resume deliberations on Monday at 9.45am.
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