Keighley accused tells trial 'I was told to take blame for attack'

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The trial is taking place at Bradford Crown Court The trial is taking place at Bradford Crown Court

A 22-year-old man accused of hitting a retired roofer with a baseball bat told a jury his mother urged him to take the blame after his uncle was arrested for the crime.

Ladislav Balaz said from the witness box at Bradford Crown Court that she “nagged” him to say he did it because his uncle, Bartolomej Makula, had children.

Balaz, of Samuel Street, Keighley, denies attacking Keith Alder, 66, in the street on October 22, 2011.

Mr Alder was so severely beaten and kicked outside his home in Sowden Street, Great Horton, Bradford, that his skull was fractured in two places, his bowel had to be removed and both legs amputated.

Makula, of Southfield Lane, Great Horton, was jailed for 15 years in April last year after pleading guilty to wounding Mr Alder with intent to cause him grievous bodily harm and being in possession of a baseball bat.

Balaz denies both those offences.

He told the jury yesterday he was born in Slovokia and came to the UK five years ago.

He stayed at home with his partner on the evening of October 22 and learned the next morning that his uncle had been arrested. He denied telling his mother and sister that he was involved in the assault.

Balaz said his mother told him to take the blame because he was young and did not have children.

“She kept nagging me this way,” he said. “I told her I won’t report myself because I haven’t done it.”

He denied changing his training shoes at a charity shop and hiding his trousers in the cellar at his home.

Balaz, who is about 4ft9ins (143cms) tall, held up the jeans to show the jury they were far too big to be his.

He said he was not in Bradford that night and had nothing to do with the attack on Mr Alder.

The jury has heard that Mr Alder was charged at by up to six males, at least three with baseball bats, as he walked home late in the evening from a charity event at the Fat Pot Club on Great Horton Road.

It was feared at one time that he would not survive his severe injuries.

He told the court his assailants were “tooled up with baseball bats”.

“I knew they weren’t going to shake my hand,” he said.

The trial continues.

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