A jury in the Lee McKnight murder trial has watched a series of CCTV clips showing the early morning movements of key vehicles in the case.
Four men, along with a mother and daughter, deny being involved in the alleged murder of Mr McKnight, whose badly beaten body was found in the River Caldew on the outskirts of Carlisle on July 24. A farmer called 999 at 5-23am after making the gruesome find.
In recent days, jurors at the city’s crown court have been guided through intricate “sequence of events” charts, maps and images gathered by detectives.
These form a detailed timeline of the known movements, mobile phone cell sighting and addresses linked to the six who stand accused, along with 26-year-old Mr McKnight himself.
He was last sighted on the forecourt of a Tesco filling station off Warwick Road in Carlisle at around 7pm on July 23.
Today, the jury was shown footage from a host of different CCTV cameras capturing the journey of a taxi which transported Mr McKnight from his city home just after 2.30am the following morning.
It dropped him in the Fusehill Street area, close to the Charles Street address in which it is alleged he was “beaten to the point of death”.
Different cameras also showed the journey made by one of the defendants, Carol Edgar, from her Charles Street address to her sister’s home in the city in a Nissan Navara, at around 2am, and then back just after 3.30am.
Just over an hour later, that Navara was captured leaving the Charles Street area as dawn broke, travelling along Blackwell and Durdar Roads, and then Lowry Street, before heading down a track and across a field to the River Caldew just before 4.45am.
Drone footage showed tyre marks in a field close to the water in which Mr McKnight is said to have been placed while deeply unconscious but still alive.
At 4-53am, the Navara was seen exiting Lowry Street and travelled back towards the city centre before being driven out of town and abandoned in woodland near Wreay, south of Carlisle. CCTV seen by the jury also captured two figures walking and then running away from the vehicle dump site soon after.
It is alleged Mr McKnight was attacked at the Charles Street address and then transported to the river at a time when he was a “marked man” and owed a debt to a fellow drug dealer which possibly ran into thousands of pounds.
The trial continues.