Paul Taylor murder trial: Accused Nicola Lee heard by neighbour shouting 'I'm going to kill you', jury told

A woman accused of stabbing her partner in the heart was heard by a neighbour shouting "I'm going to kill you" on the night of his death, murder jurors have heard.
Paul TaylorPaul Taylor
Paul Taylor

Nicola Lee, 44, is on trial accused of killing Paul Taylor, 45, during a drunken argument at her home in Jarrow, South Tyneside, on March 31.

Lee, 44, of Thames Avenue, Jarrow, denies his murder and is being tried by a jury at Newcastle Crown Court.

The court has heard Lee claimed Mr Taylor stabbed himself.

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Margaret Mason, who was Lee's upstairs neighbour, told police she heard Lee shouting "I'm going to kill you" and the sound of a scuffle on the night Mr Taylor died.

Miss Mason told police, in a video recorded interview that has been played in court, she had returned to her home at around 10pm and could near "Nicola and Paul talking".

She added: "Then they started. Nicola was starting to get louder and louder.

She said 'it's my house, I will see you on the streets'."

Miss Mason said the couple then appeared to move into their kitchen and things were quiet for a while but then "started again".

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She told police: "She was shouting and swearing at him and then Paul got really aggressive and was shouting back and then I heard her shouting 'I'm going to kill you, I'm going to kill you' and there was like a scuffle, as if they were like fighting."

Miss Mason said she later heard Lee shouting "Paul, Paul" and added: "I was going to get up and phone the police then I seen all the flashing lights at thewindow and all the police cars and that were there."

Shopworker Julie Martin, who was employed at the Premier Store near Lee's home, has told jurors saw Mr Taylor three times in the hours before his death.

Miss Martin said the first time, in the early evening, Mr Taylor, who was in shop with pal Shaun Hunter to buy alcohol, was "happy as Larry, as he normally was".

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She said during a second visit, again to buy alcohol with Mr Hunter, Mr Taylor was "funnier, cheeky but funny cheeky and having a laugh."

Miss Martin said during a third visit, at around 9pm, Mr Taylor was alone and "he was crying".

Miss Martin said she asked Mr Taylor if he was alright and he told her: "I will be fine".

The shopworker said Mr Taylor was not talkative during his last visit to the shop, where he bought more alcohol and she added: "He was crying, I could see there was tears on his face."

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Miss Martin said she saw Lee once that night, after Mr Taylor's final visit to the shop, and added: "She was fuming, she stomped into the shop, went straight for her cans, picked them up, went abruptly."

Miss Martin said Lee "was not in a very good mood at all" and added: "She just said 'if they don't get out of my house, I will kill them'.

"It was her face, you could see in her face she wasn't happy at all, she just wasn't.

"She was drunk."

Mr Taylor's friend Mr Hunter has told jurors he had been at Lee's home to visit Mr Taylor that evening and that they had "had a laugh" on the way to the shop.

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But Mr Hunter said Lee was "up a height" that night and "wasn't happy at the time".

Mr Hunter said Lee was "snappy" towards Mr Taylor and that the atmosphere in the house was "tense".

He added: "You could feel the tension in the air."

Mr Hunter said after he left Lee's house to head back to his home, he received a call from Mr Taylor asking to meet him.

Mr Hunter said Mr Taylor was "upset" and he had walked back to see him.

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He added: "He said his head was battered. He was shaky, he had tears in his eyes."

Mr Hunter said Mr Taylor had told him he had been arguing with Lee and added: "He was sick of the arguments, sick of arguing. He had to get out of the house for five minutes.

"I told him to come on the Metro, come to mine and stay the night.

"He said he was going to go back and try and sort it all out."

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Mr Hunter said he "shook hands and hugged" his friend after he repeatedly refused his invitation and told him to "take care".

He added: "He seemed a little bit better after talking to me, he just walked away. He seemed a bit calmer."

The trial continues.