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Voice experts’ disagreement in South Yorkshire murder trial

Dean Armitage who is thought to have been attacked after trying to stop a man stealing his car from his drive way at Hoyland near Barnsley.

Dean Armitage who is thought to have been attacked after trying to stop a man stealing his car from his drive way at Hoyland near Barnsley.

Voice recognition experts giving evidence in the trial of a man accused of murdering a Barnsley dad disagreed about what could be heard in audio footage from the crime scene, a court heard.

CCTV cameras captured audio footage of a tussle between 49-year-old victim Dean Armitage and his killer David Matthew Sindall.

Video footage is not available because the camera was pointing the wrong way.

A jury at Sheffield Crown Court heard Sindall, aged 34, was confronted by Mr Armitage as he tried to steal his Range Rover from Skiers View Road, Hoyland, Barnsley.

The prosecution say there was a verbal exchange and Mr Armitage shouted at Sindall ‘I’ll show thee’ - who responded by repeating the phrase and swearing.

Jurors first heard from forensic voice and speech expert Elizabeth McClelland. She said two different voices could be heard arguing.

Next they heard from Professor Peter French, professor in language and linguistic science, who said the quality of the tape was ‘very poor’ and he could identify only one voice.

Asked about Ms McClelland’s evidence, Professor French said: “It’s a credible opinion, but I disagree with it.”

The prosecution say Sindall hit Mr Armitage with a torch and there was a tussle during which Mr Armitage fell to the floor and banged his head, fracturing his skull.

They claim Sindall, of Selbourne Street, Eastwood, Rotherham, kicked and punched the haulage firm boss as he lay on the ground.

Sindall admits manslaughter but denies murder.

The trial continues.

 
 
 

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