Paul Taylor murder trial: Accused Nicola Lee tells jurors: 'I did not kill him'

A woman accused of stabbing her partner through the heart during a row has told jurors "I didn't kill him".

By Karon Kelly
Tuesday, 15th October 2019, 5:11 pm
Updated Tuesday, 15th October 2019, 5:46 pm
Paul Taylor
Paul Taylor

Nicola Lee is on trial accused of the murder of Paul Taylor, 45, who died at her home in Jarrow, in March.

From the witness box at Newcastle Crown Court the 44-year-old has told jurors "he done it himself" and said she is "devastated" by what happened.

The mum-of-three has said Mr Taylor, in a drunk and angry state, grabbed a knife from a jar in the kitchen, screamed and then fatally stabbed himself.

Lee has told jurors the atmosphere had been "tense" at her home in the hours before and she and Mr Taylor had fallen out, before he was caught on CCTV crying at the local shop.

She told the court she spoke to Mr Taylor by phone and he went back to the house.

Lee said: "I told him to come back because I didn't want to argue with him, I wanted us to try and enjoy what was left of the weekend."

But Lee claimed the argument continued when he got back and "it just went on and on and on".

She added: "He was just saying he was sick of his life. Very unhappy, very unhappy and he was angry.

"He was extremely drunk, he was angry.

"I just remember him going for the utensils jar, grabbing the knife, screaming then the knife went in.

"When he stabbed himself I really didn't realise it was as bad as it was."

Lee said the stabbing happened "quickly" and added: "I couldn't stop him".

She told the court she then took the knife from Mr Taylor "flung it" then dialled 999.

When asked by her barrister Nicholas Lumley QC if she had any intention or desire to hurt Mr Taylor, Lee told the court: "I never wanted to hurt him. I never attacked him. I never put my hands on him. I've never done anything to hurt Paul."

She added: "I did not kill him that night and no, I never would."

Lee told jurors Mr Taylor had hit himself in the head with a hammer in the past and said their relationship was "on and off", adding: "It wasn't the best of relationships".

She told jurors both herself and Mr Taylor had a history of mental health problems.

Lee told the court she spent some of her early years in childrens' homes and and "had to learn how to look after myself pretty quickly".

The mun-of-three said she had a series of abusive relationships with men and would always "fight back".

But she added: "Whenever I put my hands on anyone it would be retaliation of I would be defending myself. I never went around assaulting people for nothing."

Jurors have heard evidence from men Lee had previous relationships with and also a neighbour who told jurors about her violent and abusive behaviour.

But Lee told the court: "A lot of witnesses have took the stand in this case, have stood and swore by oath, and told lies."

Lee told jurors she has "a temper and can be a bit feisty" but when asked if she had told lies during her evidence, she told the court: "I've got no reason to tell lies."

Lee of Thames Avenue, Jarrow, denies murder.

The trial continues.