Clive Porter murder trial: Daniel Wisniewski 'killed Grand Union Canal worker ...

Clive Porter murder trial: Daniel Wisniewski 'killed Grand Union Canal worker ...
Clive Porter murder trial: Daniel Wisniewski 'killed Grand Union Canal worker ...

A retired police officer was murdered beside the Grand Union Canal by an irate boater who had seen him putting a ticket on an unlicensed narrowboat, a court heard today.

Daniel Wisniewski, who lives on his own boat on the famous canal, is alleged to have launched the 'unprovoked' attack on waterway worker Clive Porter after seeing him ticket another person's barge.

Jury members were told how the 46-year-old became angry and stormed off of his own boat, the Captain Golden Heart, before photographing Mr Porter.

Prosecutors allege Wisniewski then attacked the 63-year-old on the towpath near Aylesbury, Bucks, in April last year.

Mr Porter, who was patrolling the stretch of the 137 mile-long waterway for the Canal and River Trust his retirement, died at the scene after suffering severe head injuries. 

A court heard Wisniewski was later found hiding in a ditch on a nearby piece of land, owned by his partner.

When questioned by police he claimed he had attempted to 'save' Mr Porter from an attack by two men on the boat he had put the ticket on and that he was a 'hero' who deserved a 'medal from the Queen', jury members were told.

Wisniewski, who has given a Birmingham address to the court, denies a single charge of murder and is on trial at Reading Crown Court. 

Daniel Wisniewski, who lives on his own boat on the famous canal, is alleged to have launched the 'unprovoked' attack on waterway worker Clive Porter (pictured) after seeing him ticket another person's barge

Daniel Wisniewski, who lives on his own boat on the famous canal, is alleged to have launched the 'unprovoked' attack on waterway worker Clive Porter (pictured) after seeing him ticket another person's barge

Prosecutors allege Wisniewski attacked the 63-year-old on the towpath of the Grand Union Canal (pictured) near Aylesbury, Bucks, in April last year

Prosecutors allege Wisniewski attacked the 63-year-old on the towpath of the Grand Union Canal (pictured) near Aylesbury, Bucks, in April last year

Today, in the opening of the trial, Judge Justice Turner heard that Mr Porter, who had retired from the police 10 years previously, had taken up the job because of his love of the outdoors.

The court heard he would cycle up and down the towpath entering boats' details on an iPad that would check their licences to moor on the idyllic canal.

Prosecutor Alan Kent QC said: 'His role as a former police officer made him ideally situated for the job that he was doing. 

'Before his retirement, he was a neighbourhood officer in Tring, Hertfordshire and he got satisfaction from helping people.

'He was well-liked and well respected, a quiet, unassuming and non-aggressive man.'

The jury heard that as Mr Porter arrived at Broughton Lock at around 12.15pm on April 26, he saw a boat called Frosty Jack, which his iPad revealed had not had a licence to moor on the canal paid for.

He then proceeded to give the boat, which was tied up in sight of the narrowboat that Wisniewski shared with his partner, an enforcement letter and that is what provoked his attacker.

Mr Kent told the court: 'The enforcement letter that was put on the Frosty Jack was absolutely none of this defendant's business but he made it his business. 

'For some reason, the defendant seemed to take exception to the fact that an enforcement letter was being put on this other boat and he started a row with Mr Porter about it.

'That row quickly became a physical assault by the defendant and that led to Mr Porter's death.'

Detectives are encouraging anyone with information to come forward. Pictured: Forensic evidence was gathered at the scene

Detectives are encouraging anyone with information to come forward. Pictured: Forensic evidence was gathered at the scene

'A camera that was recovered from Wisniewski's boat was examined by investigators and in the deleted images section they found photos taken by the defendant of Mr Porter putting the enforcement letter on the other boat.

'From that evidence, it was clear that this defendant was interested in what Mr Porter was doing moments before he attacked him.

'The fact that the photos were found in the deleted section indicates that he had the foresight to delete these images. 

'There was no reason for him to do that but he did and he did not expect the police to find them, but they did.'

The court heard that after the attack, Mr Porter was found in a ditch next to the towpath mostly submerged in water and the lifejacket that he habitually wore, was inflated.

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