A MAN who thought he was going to be evicted from his Kidderminster home beat his housemate to death with a metal bar in an argument over paying bills, Worcester Crown Court heard.

Henry Jones hit Mark Beresford a "devastating" blow on the side of the head with a heavy metal bar and then hit him again as he lay unconscious on the kitchen floor at the house in Offmore Road.

The argument started in the living room at around 8pm on Friday, March 24 this year after 55-year-old Mr Beresford, who was known to be in poor health, had told the landlord that 22-year-old Jones had lost his job and could not pay his way, Jonas Hankin, QC, prosecuting, said.

Jones punched Mr Beresford - who was 5ft 6ins tall and weighed just over eight stones - and knocked him to the floor. Jones himself described Mr Beresford to police as a "tiny little bloke."

Mr Hankin told the jury that the brutal attack continued in the kitchen. The blow with the metal bar rendered Mr Beresford unconscious and caused “catastrophic” brain injuries.

He did not regain consciousness and was taken off life support in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham at 10.30pm the following day.

Mr Beresford, who worked as a data inputter, had suffered other injuries including two fractured ribs, a fractured cheekbone, bruising to his face, shoulders and chest and a cut on the back of his head.

Jones denies murder and claims he was acting in self-defence after he feared Mr Beresford was going to attack him with a knife.

Mr Hankin said there were more injuries than can be accounted for by this explanation and Jones had no injuries at all and that Jones developed his story to “justify his actions”.

Jones had moved into the spare room of the house in December 2016. Mr Hankin said Jones had been in the Army briefly but had lost his job at Malvern Collections in Bewdley on March 14 due to poor attendance and had no money.

He added that Jones appeared to have debts of more than £5,000 and was being pursued by enforcement agencies.

Jones discovered he had spoken to the landlord and there was a confrontation leading to Mr Beresford's death, Mr Hankin said.

Jones called friends before he dialled 999 at around 8.30pm and said Mr Beresford had fallen and hit his head and there was a lot of blood. He was arrested on March 25 on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm and arrested later for murder after Mr Beresford was taken off life support.

He then "evolved" his self-defence story over the next few days, Mr Hankin said.

The court also heard that Mr Beresford lived a relatively simple life, working at a firm dealing with postal traffic for the DWP and being a regular at two Kidderminster pubs - The Swan and Chester Tavern.

He was not married and had no children but was close to several family members and was well liked by his work colleagues and people in the pubs. He was suffering from COPD, a serious lung disease.

The trial continues. It is expected to last for two weeks.