MURDER TRIAL: Body found kneeling in prayer position

Police and ambulance crews outside Mr Twigg's workshop the day after his death.
Police and ambulance crews outside Mr Twigg's workshop the day after his death.

A BUSINESSMAN died after being locked inside a small store room at his burning workshop as his girlfriend’s financial problems were about to be exposed, a court was told today (Tuesday, December 6).

David Twigg (46) was found kneeling in the prayer position after firefighters smashed their way into the store room at his bespoke joinery firm in Station Yard, Burgh Le Marsh.

Lincoln Crown Court heard smoke was coming from a tin in a lobby outside the store room door when firefighters were directed to the blaze by Mr Twigg’s long term partner, Julie Dixon.

Despite being given the kiss of life Mr Twigg died at the scene.

It is alleged Miss Dixon, 43, murdered her boyfriend of 15 years and was lying when she told emergency services that they had been attacked at the premises by two masked intruders.

The prosecution claim Miss Dixon ran the office side of Mr Twigg’s joinery firm and had been hiding the worsening financial state of the business which culminated in it being declared bankrupt in October 2010 and an arrest warrant being issued for Mr Twigg three days before his death.

Gorden Aspden, prosecuting, told the court there was also evidence that Miss Dixon had been considering leaving Mr Twigg and starting afresh.

The jury heard Miss Dixon was waiting at the front gate of the couple’s property in Station Yard after making a 999 call at around 6.53pm on Sunday 13 March, this year.

Mr Aspden told the jury the first thing Miss Dixon said was “I’ve been assaulted or I’ve been attacked.”

“Most significantly there wasn’t a sight or sound of David Twigg,” Mr Aspden added.

“Julie Dixon was pointing at the locked store room door and shouting ‘they locked him in there, he’s in there, they bundled him inside.’”

The court heard firefighters used first a crowbar, then a sledgehammer and axe to smash through the locked door which Mr Twigg had fitted himself.

Mr Aspden said: “As it swung open David Twigg, who appeared to be kneeling against it in a prayer type position, slumped forward face down.”

The court was told Miss Dixon had singes to her hair and eyebrows and smelt of smoke.

Mr Aspden added: “She said she and David Twigg had been attacked by two masked intruders, both wearing hoodies.

“She said the men had pushed David Twigg into the store room. She had been pushed in the back, but managed to escape.”

Miss Dixon, who lived with Mr Twigg in a bungalow next to his workshop, denies his murder on Sunday 13 March this year.

The trial continues and is expected to last four weeks.

l The Standard’s website will be carrying regular updates on the case as it happens. Go to www.skegnessstandard.co.uk for all the latest.