A woman has described hearing a ferocious late night attack unfolding in her Carlisle home, and told a jury she saw three fellow murder suspects standing over a bleeding Lee McKnight.
Coral Edgar is one of six people on trial at the city’s crown court.
All stand accused of murdering Mr McKnight, who was badly beaten and dumped in a river in his body was found just before 5.30am on July 24 2020.
Bespectacled and wearing a white blouse and jacket in the court witness box, Edgar, 26, told how she placed a drug order with her dealer, Mr McKnight, in an earlier Snapchat message exchange.
After she opened the front door of her Charles Street address, Mr McKnight entered and she became aware Jamie Davison — the only other person in the house at that time — was behind her.
Davison, she said, punched Mr McKnight in the face and as the men struggled into the kitchen she jumped over a sofa and sat on a chair.
“I heard Jamie Davison asking Lee for paper,” Edgar told jurors.
“It just sounded loud and aggressive.” Jurors have heard Mr McKnight owed a drugs debt to Davison.
“After I heard him asking for paper, I did hear punches, like skin on skin, like somebody was getting punched.
“After I heard punches, it started to progress into what sounded more ferocious, like constant punches, like somebody was constantly being hit.”
She recalled: “I was tucking my head into my knees, trying to cover my ears.”
Edgar said at one point she got up and looked into the kitchen. “I seen three people stood up and Lee on the floor,” she jurors, saying she also noticed blood on Mr McKnight’s face.
Edgar’s barrister, Caroline Goodwin QC asked who those three men were.
“Jamie Davison, Jamie Lee and Arron Graham,” she replied, adding of Mr McKnight: “He was lying on the floor, nearly curled into a ball and there was blood on the floor.
“He was in like a foetal position.”
Edgar said she backed out of the kitchen, returned to the chair and described being “terrified”.
She spoke of then hearing a repeated attack and said Davison came into the living room and asked her to call her mother, Carol — who was away from the address — for a lift.
“He did apologise,” said Edgar. “He said something along the lines of he was sorry and it wasn’t meant to have got this far.”
Edgar did call her mother. “Why didn’t you ring police?” asked Ms Goodwin.
“I was too scared. I didn’t want anybody catching me phoning the police,” replied Edgar.
She said teenager Jamie Lee Roberts also came into the living room, and used her phone.
Shortly after, her mother returned home. “I pointed into the kitchen. I think I told her to brace herself,” said Edgar, who told how Roberts’ father, Paul, then arrived, carrying a rucksack.
Roberts junior, she said, then left the property before Davison, Graham, Paul Roberts and Mr McKnight left the house.
Asked how Mr McKnight departed, Edgar said: “Because there was four of them in such a small space I couldn’t be sure.”
After the men left, Edgar recalled: “I cleaned the kitchen.”
“Were you mopping?” asked Ms Goodwin.
“No,” said Edgar. “I was cleaning blood out of the kitchen.”
Asked why she hadn’t told police when interviewed about events she was describing to jurors, Edgar responded: “Mainly because I was scared of the repercussions of being what they call a grass.”
She had previously said: “Now I feel like I have got to.”
Earlier, Ms Goodwin had asked: “Did you have anything to do with a deliberate plan to get him down to the house so he could be beaten up?”.
Edgar replied: “No. Definitely not.”
Edgar, her mother, Davison, Graham, Jamie Lee Roberts and Paul Roberts all deny murder, and the trial continues.