A MAN accused of murdering his best friend during a fishing trip wept as he described the attack as “the worst thing I have done in my life.”

Nathan Muat said he wanted people to understand “how much pain I am going through, please forgive me. It is the worst thing a human being can do.”

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Liverpool Crown Court has heard that Muat was a carer for vulnerable Peter Seeclear but neighbours spoke of his bullying abusive behaviour to him and a catalogue of injuries were found on him pre-dating the fatal ones.

Muat has admitted that he had wanted to hurt 45-year-old Mr Seeclear after he hit him on the head but denied wanting him dead or to cause him really serious harm.

Cross-examined by Guy Gozem, QC, prosecuting, about leaving his friend - whose injuries included 12 smashed ribs - in agony and dying the day after the assault Muat said: “I didn’t know how much pain he was in.”

But Mr Gozem put to him: “Of course you knew. You cannot inflict injuries on someone that are that severe without knowing they may be seriously hurt. You knew you had given him a real beating.”

St Helens Star:

Peter Seeclear

Muat agreed Mr Seeclear must have been in agony but maintained he had not known and claimed the victim had not shown signs of being in pain. “If I had known I would have got him help,” he said.

The jury has heard that the two men had first met at a Liverpool mosque about nine years ago and Muat, also known as Abdul Haq, meaning ‘the servant of truth’ and Mr Seeclear, known as Sulliman, became close friends.

They went on a fishing trip at Stadt Moers Park in Whiston last October for several days and on October 30 Muat ran to a nearby house claiming that his friend had had an epileptic fit.

Paramedics found that he had died and it was initially believed that Muat’s claim was true but a post mortem examination revealed he had suffered severe chest injuries which compromised his breathing.

And it was also found that he had suffered seven broken ribs on an earlier occasion and had cuts, bruises and abrasions which had also occurred on occasions during the previous weeks and days.

Muat, of Upper Parliament Street, Toxteth, is on trial at Liverpool Crown Court denying murder and an alternative charge of manslaughter.

He has told the court that he loved 45-year-old Mr Seeclear. “ I really loved him and he was a lovely guy.”

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He agreed they had disagreements but said they would then hug and forget about them.

On October 28 Mr Seeclear set off back to his home in The Elms, Toxteth, to get a good night’s sleep but as he had forgotten his keys instead stayed with a neighbour. Muat admitted he had sent him an abusive text while he was away.

When Mr Seeclear returned he brought his own tent with him but had not brought his waterproof clothing and when he quizzed him about this Mr Seeclear “told me to f*** off and hit me.”

“I fought back with him, punching and kicking him to defend myself. I kneed him in the chest.”

He admitted punching him more than five times and kicking him several times while wearing leather hiking boots but said he was not sure how many times as it “happened so quick”.

He said the incident stopped because the victim was winded or wounded and they were both out of breath. They slept in their separate tents that night and he did not think anything was seriously wrong with his friend.

The next morning he got him a drink and Mr Seeclear said he wanted to rest so he left him there while he went to look for carp. When he came back he helped him out of the tent so he could urinate “and he just fell on his face…he looked like he was having a fit,”

Further questioned by Mr Gozem he maintained that Mr Seeclear had not gone to the ground during their fight. Mr Gozem pointed out that the victim had bruising to his back which he suggested occurred while Muat was stamping on him “crushing him” while he lay on the ground.

Muat denied this but agreed he had causing injury to his right testicle and shins by kicking and said he had caused the chest injuries by kneeing him.

He has claimed that the two men sometimes spoke abusively to each other but Mr Gozem said that it was Muat who made foul text message comments such as calling Mr Seeclear “a stupid t**t” and a sick c***” In response Mr Seeclear was polite.

“I didn’t mean it in a bad way, I just thought it would get his attention,” claimed Muat.

The trial continues.