Alan Stokoe: Jury shown Chester-le-Street knife fight in murder trial

A FATAL knife fight with his ex-lover’s former boyfriend left a man dead, a court has heard.

Alan Stokoe died after he was stabbed in the neck by Mohammed Rahman, 43, when the two men fought with knives in Melville Street, Chester-le-Street, Newcastle Crown Court heard on Monday.

A jury was shown graphic footage of the fight between the two men which ended with Mr Stokoe leaning on a car before collapsing in the road.

Opening the case at Rahman’s trial for murder, Jamie Hill QC, prosecuting, told the jury that there is little doubt that Mr Stokoe would have been the one in the dock if the outcome had been the other way round.

Mr Hill said: “If Mr Stokoe had survived and Mr Rahman had died from his injuries, there is little doubt Mr Stokoe would have been on trial for murder. This was a voluntary, vicious, mutual knife fight.”

The prosecutor explained how Mr Rahman had been involved in an on-off relationship with a woman called Laura McGee, who lived in Melville Street.

Although Rahman lived in London, he was staying with Miss McGee in Chester-le-Street in the early hours of July 21, last year.

Mr Hill said Mr Stokoe had also been in a relationship with Miss McGee which had been “stormy and difficult”.

He said there was no doubt that Mr Stokoe had been “abusive and threatening” to Miss McGee at times and that she had “responded in kind”.

The prosecutor said Mr Stokoe had been arrested more than once and, at the time of his death, was on bail with a condition not to contact her.

But, Mr Hill said, the pair had been meeting up.

He told the jury how Mr Stokoe arrived in Melville Street at about 2am on July 21 2019 with a knife in one hand and a mobile phone in the other.

Mr Hill said: “There is no doubt that he was intending to cause serious trouble.”

He said he was there to “vent his anger” and Mr Stokoe may well have been using the phone to issue threats.

Mr Hill said he walked towards Miss McGee’s house “gesticulating” with the knife but backed off and walked down the street.

Shortly after, CCTV footage shows Rahman emerge from the property with a large kitchen knife but he shrugs and disappears inside.

When Mr Stokoe returns, Rahman reappears and the two men engage in what the prosecutor described as a “flurry of blows”.

Mr Hill said: “That short outburst of violence ended when Mr Rahman put his knife through the neck of Mr Stokoe.”

The prosecutor told the jury that Rahman had also suffered stab wounds but he went back into the house and put the knife in the kitchen sink.

He said it took nine minutes for the police to arrive and Rahman and Miss McGee told a neighbour that Mr Stokoe had come into the house with knives and so he “stabbed him back”.

Mr Hill said Mr Stokoe was dying in the street while the pair used that nine minutes to “cobble together a story in the hope of getting Mr Rahman out of trouble”.

The jury was also shown body-worn camera footage from officers called to the scene in which Rahman is heard explaining that he was acting in self-defence.

In the footage Rahman says to the officers: “Silly f***** just came at me with a knife.”

Mr Hill said: “Running out the house to have a fight with someone is not self-defence”.

Rahman, 43, of Eamont Gardens, Hartlepool, denies murder and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

The Northern Echo | Teesside