UK

Man accused of older brother’s ‘brutal’ murder

Darren Steel from Morriston in Swansea denies murdering Martin Steel at Swansea Crown Court.

Darren Steel appeared at Swansea Crown Court on Tuesday accused of murdering his brother
Crown court stock Darren Steel appeared at Swansea Crown Court on Tuesday accused of murdering his brother (Tim Ireland/PA)

A Swansea man is accused of “brutally” murdering his brother and leaving his body to be found by their mother.

Darren Steel, from Morriston in Swansea, denies murdering his older sibling, Martin, at an address in Hill View Crescent last year.

He has also denied taping another man to a chair and beating him, as well as assaulting his former girlfriend, who claims he pursued her with a hammer.

Prosecutor Caroline Rees KC set out the case against Steel, 39, at Swansea Crown Court on Tuesday, describing him as “jealous” of his brother, which led to “black moods and anger”.

She called the brothers’ relationship “volatile” and “love-hate”, especially when alcohol was involved.

Addressing the jury, Ms Rees said: “At an address in Hill View the defendant was in an angry state, he was consumed by rage and brutally attacked his brother.

“The defendant did nothing to try to save him. Did nothing to call an ambulance.”

Martin Steel
Martin Steel Martin Steel

She said Martin Steel was left in a blood-soaked armchair until his mother found him on May 20 2023.

Diane Steel came to the house after neighbours raised the alarm.

They had grown concerned having found Martin Steel’s dog covered in a “reddish brown” substance and getting no response at the house.

Mrs Steel initially spoke to someone she could only identify as one of her sons through the door.

The prosecution argued that the older brother would have been dead by this time, meaning it must have been Darren she spoke to.

The voice asked if she had brought the police with her and she asked why she would do that.

When Mrs Steel got into the property she found her son Martin, his face swollen, with blood splatter covering the room.

The mother said Darren Steel then came into the room, laughing and claiming he was “still pissed from the night before”.

Ms Rees said: “The defendant made his escape from the scene, leaving his mother to deal with the most horrific scene imaginable.”

Martin Steel sustained injuries to the head and neck, with Ms Rees saying they were consistent with an intent to kill or cause serious injury.

Doctors believe Martin Steel may have lived three to six hours with his injuries.

“He must have been suffering for several hours before he died,” Ms Rees added.

Steel was confronted by police in the street and attempted to give a fake name, but a neighbour mouthed his name to them.

The judge made it clear to the jury that Steel had not denied that he was involved in the death of his brother, but instead claimed it was self-defence.

In the days leading up to his brother’s death, Steel is accused of assaulting two other people.

He is accused of strapping Julian Samuel to a chair using brown parcel tape and attacking him.

Ms Rees said the alleged attack indicated the “uncontrollable temper” of the defendant, with the court shown pictures of Mr Samuel, his face bruised.

Mr Samuel was described by Ms Rees as being “vulnerable” with an addiction to Valium, cannabis and alcohol.

The attack is alleged to have occurred at Mr Samuel’s Lon Ithon home on May 18, after Steel accused him of stealing drugs.

Steel is said to have used brown parcel tape to secure his victim to a chair before repeatedly punching and hitting him.

The prosecution said Steel then tried pushing his fingers into Mr Samuel’s eyes and threatened him with a knife before he blacked out.

A neighbour described hearing “blood-curdling screams” during the alleged incident.

The next day, on May 19, Steel is accused of dragging Mr Samuel out of bed and assaulting him again.

Brown tape was later found by police with Mr Samuel’s hair attached to it.

Ms Begley’s relationship with the defendant was described as being “on and off”.

Steel is said to have assaulted her when he became angry about missing drugs on May 20.

He and his brother had got into an argument over whether Martin Steel and Ms Begley had slept together – something denied by them both.

The older brother told his sibling to “stop being a prick” and he subsequently fell asleep.

After this, the prosecution said Steel became angry about his missing drugs and began slapping Ms Begley.

She then ran from the house and he followed her. CCTV shown to the jury from around 6am on May 20 appeared to show Steel chasing Ms Begley, carrying a hammer, while she tried to back away from him.

He is seen grabbing her hair and throwing her to the ground.

Ms Begley escaped when she spotted police officers, and Steel ran off.

She told the officers they were “having a bit of a domestic” and they helped her get her possessions back, which Steel pushed out through the letterbox of his brother’s door.

Steel denies murder and an alternative charge of manslaughter of Martin Steel, as well as the wounding with intent and a lesser charge of unlawful wounding of Mr Samuel, and two counts of assault on Dawn Michelle Begley.

The trial continues on Wednesday.