A MURDER suspect tortured a terrified teenager and manipulated him into attacking a man he described as a “paedophile”, a court heard.

Scott Swift and Joseph Smith are alleged to have battered Michael Beckwith with metal bars near Barrack Lane, Harwich after he had been lured to a secluded spot by his ex, Rebecca Ryan.

Swift denied any part in the attack, on July 31, while giving evidence at Chelmsford Crown Court yesterday and claimed he was “very surprised” when Smith confessed to manslaughter on Friday.

Dorian Lovell-Pank QC, defending Swift, asked if he had said or done anything to cause Mr Beckwith’s death.

Swift replied “no”.

The court heard Mr Beckwith described the larger of his two attackers as 5ft 5ins and slim before he died but Swift told the jury he is 5ft 11ins and about 23st.

Simon Spence QC, defending Ryan, claimed Swift was obsessed with her, “controlling and jealous” and asked whether he followed her and had set up GPS tracking so he knew where she was. He denied the claims.

Tyrone Smith QC, representing Smith, claimed Swift tortured the teenager on July 29, two days before the attack on Mr Beckwith.

Swift claimed it was a prank which went to far.

He asked: “Did he ever overpower you and use cable ties? Did he ever put a bag over your head, a cloth in your mouth or waterboard you?”

Mr Smith QC also claimed Swift put lighter fluid under the teenager’s nose, flicked a lighter at him and threatened his private parts with a knife and hammer until the teen wet himself, which Swift denied.

Mr Smith QC said: “What I suggest is Mr Smith was expecting to give a ‘paedo’ a bit of a slap, a bit of a beating but you went entirely over the top and repeatedly smashed this man with a metal bar.”

Swift denied any involvement.

Mr Beckwith, 44, of Goodlake Close, Dovercourt, died on August 2.

Swift, 27, of Station Road, Dovercourt, Smith, 18, of Canning Street, Harwich, and Ryan, 22, of Hilltop Rise, Weeley, are charged with murder.

All three deny the charge.

Ryan is also charged with perverting the course of justice.

Triston Biddlecombe, 24, and wife Enderlein Biddlecombe, 20, both of East Street, Harwich, deny assisting offenders and perverting the course of justice. The trial continues.