A MAN accused of murder denied singing in celebration after joining his pals in kicking a landscape gardener to death.

Penge labourer Donald Murtagh, 20, told jurors he did not deliver a single kick or punch to 35-year-old “loner” Darren Gardner.

He maintained the entire attack was carried out by his pal Stephen Parsons and claimed Parsons' girlfriend Tracey Grover joined in.

Gardner was savagely beaten and found dumped in a stream at Kelsey Park, Beckenham, on February 10.

The Old Bailey heard how Mr Gardner was attacked in revenge for asking 18-year-old Grover if he could have her knickers.

Murtagh told how the group left a Bromley curry house after a night out and headed for the park.

“Darren was walking a few feet behind Parsons. There didn't appear to be any bad feelings. Then Parsons turned around and punched Darren.

“He fell over a fence and rolled down a bank into the stream. I heard a splash. I tried to keep Darren's head out of the water because he wasn't moving. We managed to get him out of the water and drag him up the bank.

“I then heard loud thumping noises and someone stamping. I looked up and saw Parsons jumping on Darren's head. He was kicking him quite a few times and shouting some reference about Tracey's knickers.

“I heard Tracey calling Darren a nonce and a pervert. She kicked him once too.”

Prosecutor Orlando Pownall asked Murtagh in cross examination: “If this was the most ghastly, disgusting thing you have ever seen, why were you singing?” Murtagh denied singing as he left the park.

The prosecutor put it to him: “The four of you acted in concert. This was a matter of distorted honour. You couldn't take the fact he said something about Tracey Grover.”

Parsons, aged 21, a scaffolder from Kidbrooke, Michael Hann, aged 19, a labourer, of Rockingham Court, Beckenham, Murtagh, a labourer from Graveney Grove, and Darren Hall, aged 19, also a labourer from Penge all deny murder.

The trial continues.