A COLLECTION of weapons was found at the home of a man on trial accused of murdering a Bradford grandfather, a jury has heard.

David Lawler admitted wearing weighted gloves when he attended English Defence League (EDL) events and said he made a knuckleduster to “pass the time.”

He told Bradford Crown Court: “I’m not denying I am a violent guy. I’ve been violent. It doesn’t make me a murderer.”

Lawler denies the murder of Clement 'Butch' Desmier, 68, who was asphyxiated and repeatedly stabbed in his armchair, at home in Rowlestone Rise, Greengates, Bradford, in August 2012.


He also pleads not guilty to intimidating his former girlfriend, Antoinette Wilson.

Nathan Jefferson, 20, formerly of Springwell View, Holbeck, Leeds, admitted to Mr Desmier’s murder before the start of the trial.

Lawler, 33, is serving a ten year extended prison sentence for slashing a man’s throat and he has a conviction for violent disorder when he was out with the EDL.

Yesterday, the jury was told a collection of weapons was discovered at his home in Central Avenue, Shipley, the month before the murder.

It included a baseball bat with screws in it, an axe with ‘EDL’ scratched into it, the knuckleduster and a Stanley knife.


Lawler said he made a toothbrush with a blade in it because he was “prasticing for when he went to prison.”

Prosecution barrister Alistair MacDonald QC accused Lawler of “lying his head off in the witness box to pull the wool over the jury’s eyes.”

He had lied to a jury before when he was found guilty of wounding with intent with a Stanley knife.

Lawler replied that the throat slashing was very different from the murder of Mr Desmier.

“It was a spur of the moment crime. It was not a planned attack like the murder of Butch,” he said.

Lawler said he was high on an hallucinogenic drug called Spice when he told his brother, Kevin, in prison that he was involved in the murder.

He said the legal high was a hundred times stronger than cannabis.

“After you’ve had Spice, cannabis doesn’t do anything for you,” he said. “It kills people. A lot of people die from it. It’s that strong.”

He said being a murder suspect had meant that the other prisoners left him alone.

“I led them to believe that I was the killer for reputation and it was easier to get things off people, and it stops them getting things off you. It is for your own security,” he told the jury.

He pretended to his brother that he was the killer because he was the only one coming to see him and he did not want him getting bored during the visits.

The trial continues.