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Neighbour was'astounded' over murder charge
ONE of the country's senior civil servants today testified about the good character of the man accused of murdering Dele Little.
The prosecution case against Aaron Roche at Winchester Crown Court was temporarily halted while Barbara Moorhouse, director general for the Department of Transport, gave a character witness statement for the 21-year-old.
The unusual step was taken because Mrs Moorhouse, the former director general for the Ministry of Justice, couldn't attend court at any other time during the trial, jurors were told.
The court heard how Mrs Moorhouse had been a neighbour of Roche and his parents for 12 years and she had particularly known Aaron because her dog had bitten him when he was eight years old.
She told the court she would see Roche a few times a month and described him as a "well adjusted and well behaved young man".
Mrs Moorhouse said on one occasion her husband had to speak with Roche because they considered him to be driving too fast past their house. When he was spoken to he stopped.
She said: "I have never experienced or heard of any issues at all of any inappropriate behaviour from Aaron. When I heard he had been brought on this charge I was completely astounded."
Roche, formerly of Ringwood Road, Lyndhurst, denies murdering 15-year-old Dele, from Totton, on February 3 last year.