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Twins killed disabled man then torched body'

PUBLISHED: 16:16 29 October 2008 | UPDATED: 15:47 16 August 2010

A PAIR of identical twins battered a disabled man to death then torched his body in a row over a flat swap, a court heard on Tuesday.  Stuart and James Head, 34, from Orpington, murdered professional photographer Nigel Stemp, 54, when he tried to get his

A PAIR of identical twins battered a disabled man to death then torched his body in a row over a flat swap, a court heard on Tuesday.

Stuart and James Head, 34, from Orpington, murdered professional photographer Nigel Stemp, 54, when he tried to get his property back from the brothers, the Old Bailey was told.

Police later found Mr Stemp's charred body in his ground-floor apartment at Headley House, Longbury Drive, Orpington on April 17 this year. Prosecutor Brian Altman told jurors: "Mr Stemp had been repeatedly struck about the face and head with, say the prosecution, lengths of wood, pieces of timber and possibly also a hammer. An attempt had been made to cut his throat with a knife. This vicious attack had taken place inside the sitting room of his flat, but while Mr Stemp was almost certainly dying, he was dragged into his bedroom. He was lifted onto his bed, where doubtless in an attempt to avoid detection, Mr Stemp's body was set alight." The court heard that Mr Stemp was 'frail' and had to use two walking sticks to get around. Jurors were told that shortly before his death, Mr Stemp had fallen into arrears with his rent and decided to move into a smaller flat. The Head twins were living in a bedsit in nearby Curtismill Way, Orpington and agreed to swap with Mr Stemp. The swap was completed on Easter Sunday, April 8 this year, but two days later, housing association officials told the twins and Mr Stemp that the move was illegal, and they would have to move back into their own homes. On April 12, friends of the twins visited them at Curtismill Way, where the pair boasted about how they had sworn at the disabled man when he tried to get his property back from them.

James Head, of Curtismill Way, Orpington, and Stuart Head, of Glendower Crescent, Orpington, both deny murder.

The trial continues.

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