Paul Taylor murder trial: Accused Nicola Lee described as 'viciously aggressive' by former neighbour
A former neighbour of a woman on trial for the murder of her partner has described her as "manipulative, calculating, venomous, dangerous and viciously aggressive".
Nicola Lee is on trial accused of killing Paul Taylor, 45, with a knife through the heart, during an argument at her home in Jarrow, South Tyneside, on March 31.
A neighbour who once lived upstairs to the 44-year-old at her former home has told jurors she once videoed a confrontation between Lee and two men in the street, believed to have been in 2017.
Footage of the clash, which happened outside of the flats where they lived, has been played in court.
The woman told jurors: "She came out screaming and shouting, saying she had just got out of hospital and she had mental health problems.
"She was screaming and shouting and she went back inside. When she came back out she looked calmly towards the men then, as she was walking towards them, they started backing off.
"When I looked I noticed she had a knife in her hand. Then I noticed she had another knife. Those knives were kitchen knives, they were 12-14 inches long.
"She shouted 'I will ****** kill you, I will kill you ******* dead'."
The witness said Lee was "evil, vile, aggressive, angry and hateful" during the confrontation.
The woman told jurors she lived in a flat upstairs to Lee for around four years.
She told jurors she could hear Lee's then partner, who has told jurors he was stabbed in the leg with a fork by her, "screaming with pain" and being subjected to "mental torture" in the flat.
She explained though that Lee also had a "calm" side and added: "She was lovely, I really liked her, she was funny and approachable. I felt sorry for her. She was always troubled.
"Whenever I saw her she was always nice to me, which I found very odd, found terrifying in some respects.
"Little did she know how much I could hear when she was abusing her partner verbally, then I would walk out of the door and she would be lovely, very friendly, asking 'how are you, where are you going today, are you going to the allotment', talking about flowers and vegetables and five minutes previously I had heard her torturing the life out of him.
"In that respect it was very disturbing."
The neighbour said her own relationship with Lee deteriorated over time and there would be mutual calls to the police about the other's behaviour.
The woman told jurors: "There would be days she would confront me and challenge me and goad me and there would be other days she would just stand andstare, with that evil, black look on her face, just with pure hatred."
She added: "I could describe her in many ways, manipulative, calculating, venomous, dangerous, viciously aggressive.
"She is a compulsive liar and preys on the vulnerable."
Nicholas Lumley QC, defending Lee, asked the neighbour if she was "exaggerating" her evidence, which she denied outright.
Lee of Thames Avenue, Jarrow, denies his murder and claimed Mr Taylor stabbed himself.
The trial continues.