Camden News - by DAN CARIER and DAVID ST GEORGE Published: 11 December 2008
Chappelow ‘secret session’
THE prosecution case in the murder trial of Hampstead pensioner Allan Chappelow ended last week – and the court immediately went into secret session as the accused, Wang Yam, 47, took the stand to be quizzed by his defence team. The Home Office has ordered the defendant’s evidence in the Old Bailey case be held behind closed doors on grounds of “national security”.
Among the evidence the jury has heard in nearly eight weeks of the prosecution case was how hot candle wax had been dripped on Mr Chappelow and he had died of severe head injuries.
Prosecutor QC Mark Ellison told the jury the defendant had been filmed by CCTV using Mr Chappelow’s cash card in an ATM machine, and had gone into branches of the HSBC bank, attempting to access Mr Chappelow’s bank accounts.
The jury also heard Yam had become the prime suspect after using the card to pay a bill in a curry house in South End Green.
A former professor in China, Yam denies killing Mr Chappelow to death to “steal his identity and milk his bank accounts.”
Mr Chappelow was found dead under a pile of manuscripts and papers at his semi-derelict house in Downshire Hill in June 2006 after police had been alerted by a bank manager about being unable to contact him.
Yam, a father of one who was living in a rented flat in nearby Denning Road, denies any knowledge of the murder and maintains he has never set foot in the house.
The court heard there has been no DNA evidence linking Yam to the murder scene – and none of Mr Chappelow’s DNA was found at Yam’s home address.