Image copyright DRAWN BY ELIZABETH COOK Image caption (L-R) Darran Evesham, David Osbourne and Ieuan Harley - separated by security guards - all denied murder

One of three men accused of murdering a convicted child killer has been cleared on the direction of the trial judge. 

The jury at Newport Crown Court was told to find Darran Evesham, 47, not guilty of murdering David Gaut due to a lack of evidence.

Mr Gaut was found stabbed in his flat in New Tredegar, Caerphilly, in August.

Two other men, Ieuan Harley, 23 and David Osborne, 51, both deny murdering Mr Gaut, who served a 32-year sentence for murdering a toddler in the 1980s.

Mr Gaut had been released from prison and lived next door to Mr Osborne.

Prosecutor Ben Douglas-Jones previously told the trial the defendants were "horrified" to learn of Mr Gaut's past.

When they discovered he had been convicted of killing 15-month-old Chi Ming Shek, it is alleged they "lured" him to Mr Osborne's house.

Mr Douglas-Jones said Mr Gaut was then stabbed more than 150 times while still alive and a further 26 times after he died.

Mr Osbourne told the court he was in the kitchen when he heard the victim screaming for help as Mr Harley attacked him with a knife.

"I could hear some arguing and shouting," he said. "Then I heard Harley turn around and call David a paedophile.

"Then I heard a sharp intake of breath."

Image copyright Wales News Service Image caption David Gaut was stabbed 150 times and found at his home in Elliot's Town

He added: "I could hear David shouting out 'help' and heard him screaming. I felt scared.

"I didn't want to go into the lounge because it sounded horrible."

He said he eventually went into the lounge to find his co-defendant holding a bloodied knife in his hand and while standing over Mr Gaut's body.

He described how Mr Harley, whose clothes were covered in blood, then knelt down on his knees and began "prodding" the body.

He said he chose not to call the police and instead go on a "drinking spree", saying: "It was done. The police were going to come anyway."

The men are accused of moving the body into Mr Gaut's flat, cleaning Mr Osborne's flat, trying to dispose of blood-stained clothing and setting fire to a car to destroy incriminating items.

Mr Osborne admitted perverting the course of justice in relation to this, while Mr Evesham and Mr Harley deny the charge.

The trial continues.