Man in court after dead body ‘kept in freezer for nearly two years’

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A man has appeared in court over an allegation he kept a dead body in his freezer – for almost two years.

Damion Johnson, 52, is also alleged to have used John Wainwright’s bank card to withdraw cash and pay for goods, reports Derbyshire Live. 

Another charge involves the defendant, who lives in Derby, transferring the alleged victim’s money into his account.

Mr Wainwright, 71, died in September 2018 but, it’s understood according to the prosecution case, that his body was not discovered in the freezer until August 2020.

Johnson, of Sun Street, was not asked to enter any pleas to the four charges he faces. Dressed in a black coat, light-coloured trousers, and trainers and carrying a green bag he was supported by a family member when he appeared on bail at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court this week.

Prosecutor Shairoz Ahmed told the short hearing that the most serious charge Johnson faces can only be heard at a higher court. No specific details of the allegations were read to the court at this week’s hearing. Handing him bail, magistrate Christopher Walker, chair of the bench, said: “You face four charges and the most serious one can only be heard at a crown court and as such your case will be sent to Derby Crown Court.”

The offences are alleged to have taken place when Johnson and Mr Wainwright lived at a flat in Cleveland Tower, Holywell Head, in Birmingham city centre.

The charges are:

  1. Preventing the lawful and decent burial of a dead body between September 1, 2018 and August 22, 2020.
  2. Fraud in that he used Mr Wainwright’s bank card on repeated occasions to pay for goods.
  3. Fraud in that he used Mr Wainwright’s bank card to withdraw money from ATM machines.
  4. Fraud in that he transferred money from Mr Wainwright’s bank accounting to his own.

It is understood that Mr Wainwright’s cause of death is as yet unascertained. Johnson will appear at Derby Crown Court, where he is expected to enter his pleas, next month.