Leigh Park murder trial: Kevin Batchelor was 'stabbing away' at friend George Allison during fight
A WOMAN told a court a man accused of murder was ‘stabbing away’ with a knife during a struggle before a fatal blow was delivered.
A fight suddenly ‘erupted’ between murder accused Kevin Batchelor, 26, and his friend George Allison, 21, at a property belonging to Cherelle Ash in Tichborne Grove, Leigh Park, on May 23 last year.
Winchester Crown Court heard the trio had enjoyed a barbecue with gin and Stella Artois beers along with friend Chellby Ferrol before matters nosedived after a row escalated between the two men.
The rising tensions saw the defendant reach for a nearby carving knife before sinking it into the back of his friend as they punched and grabbed each other.
In a police video interview played to the court, Ms Ash said she went upstairs late in the evening as the group were preparing to leave before she returned downstairs to the lounge when she heard a commotion in the kitchen.
‘Things were getting louder and there was a different tone with George and Kevin shouting at each other,’ she said.
‘It then just erupted into a fight. Chellby was shouting my name and when I went to see it looked like a punch-up.
‘But then I watched what happened and I saw Kevin with a knife...he was stabbing away at anything he could. Chelby was getting caught in the crossfire.’
During the fight, the witness said Batchelor landed a blow to the back of her ‘close friend’ Mr Allison. ‘(Batchelor) struck (Mr Allison) in the back. George was trying to get away from him. He very quickly lost a lot of blood,’ Ms Ash said.
She added: ‘(Batchelor) was being very erratic with the knife. It was incredibly dangerous. He was stabbing away. It was horrific.’
Mr Allison then stumbled into the living room before collapsing in a pool of blood. ‘He was convulsing, it was disturbing,’ the witness said, as she cried out for help before running next door for help.
Ms Ash said the atmosphere that night had been ‘cheery and positive’ with no indication of what was to follow.
The witness told officers Mr Allison and the defendant had been involved in ‘banter’ and were ‘taking the mickey out of each other’.
She recalled then hearing Batchelor say ‘don’t talk to me like that’ before Allison said ‘I’m not scared of you’ before things took a ‘bad turn’.
During the fight, Ms Ferrol was also stabbed in the upper left arm leading to her ‘bleeding profusely’ with her muscle exposed.
Pathologist Dr Basil Purdue said Mr Allison died following a single stab wound to the back left shoulder that passed 17.5cm through his body before cutting into his spinal column whilst causing ‘catastrophic blood loss’.
Police and then paramedics attended the scene and tried to save Mr Allison before he was pronounced dead just before midnight.
The court was told Batchelor left the scene and rode a push bike to his sister’s home Hayley Batchelor, 34, with the knife. She denies a charge of assisting an offender, along with Barry Baker and Lewis Turner, who were also present.
Baker, 39, of Oracle Drive, Widley, is accused of disposing of the knife, after riding in a taxi with Turner, 32, Fore Street, Camelford, Cornwall, before it was alleged the knife was disposed by Baker in a storm drain near The Swallow pub, in Dunsbury Way, Leigh Park.
Batchelor, of Camborne, Cornwall, denies murder and claims he was acting in self-defence. He also faces an alternative to wounding with intent on Ms Ferrol while trying to inflict GBH on Mr Allison – with this charge being unlawful wounding to Ms Ferrol.