THE FATHER of a student allegedly murdered at a New Year’s Eve party has recalled his final moments with his son.

Billy Henham was allegedly beaten unconscious, stripped naked and thrown off a balcony at a disused building in the middle of Brighton on January 1, 2020.

The 24-year-old, from Henfield, suffered 11 rib fractures, extensive bruising to his scalp, face and neck and a brain injury, all consistent with being punched, kicked and stamped on.

He was also struck with a broken wooden stair spindle.

Gregory Hawley, 28, Dushane Meikle, 27, Lamech Gordon-Carew, 20, and 18-year-old Alize Spence are on trial accused of his murder.

Billy was dropped off at Seven Dials in Brighton by his father Ian Henham shortly before 7.30pm on New Year's Eve and made his way to Concorde 2.

Mr Henham said his offer to pick his son up was turned down.

In a statement read to Maidstone Crown Court, Mr Henham said: "I made sure he was aware the offer remained open and if he wanted to get home at any time, all he needed to do was contact us.

"He was in a positive mood and said he just wanted to have a nice evening.

"He was in good health, had eaten well over the holidays and had no injuries to his person.

"We didn't hear from Bill after this, and this was the last time that we saw Bill alive."

The Argus: Billy Henham Billy Henham

Billy, who studied at Ravensbourne University in London, had spent Christmas with his family but wanted to see in the new year in a “lively” atmosphere, the court heard.

Billy decided to leave his phone and wallet at home so as not to risk losing them but was believed to have written down one of his parents' numbers on a piece of paper.

CCTV footage shows Billy at a side door of Concorde 2 in Brighton, where doorman Jim Andrews described Billy as “wobbly”, and recalled how he believed his colleagues had thrown him out of the club.

In his statement to police, read to a jury at Maidstone Crown Court, Mr Andrews said Billy was not aggressive and had tried to cadge a cigarette while hanging around outside.

"He seemed happy enough, in a world of his own, jigging about to the drum and bass music and singing to himself," he said.

"He wasn't causing any harm and had a half smile on his face."

The final sighting of Billy was at 4.30am in All Sorts off-licence in North Street, diagonally opposite the squat where a New Year's Eve party was being held.

The CCTV footage showed him briefly speaking to a man behind the counter before leaving and then loitering outside the shop for several minutes.

Within a couple of hours Billy lay dead, the court was told. The jury heard there was no footage of him entering the disused building.

His body was discovered by police the following day on a recessed area of a roof terrace at the former office block, hotel and restaurant complex.

His body was dropped over balcony railings from a height of nearly 11ft and stripped of his clothes.

Forensic experts discovered disinfectant in his hair while bloodstained areas where he had been beaten appeared to have been “diluted”, the court heard.

The jury was told that while his injuries would have rendered him unconscious, Billy would have been alive for at least an hour after the violent attack.

Gordon-Carew, Hawley and Spence were arrested at another squat in Brighton on January 3 last year.

When Meikle was arrested in Hove six days later, police found two deleted photos on his phone of Billy’s body on the roof terrace.

Meikle, of Amberley Drive, Hove, Gordon-Carew, of Cheeseman Close, Hampton, Middlesex, Hawley, of no fixed address, and Spence, of Makepeace Road, Northolt, Middlesex, all deny murder.

The trial continues.