Ex-partner of Sunderland murder accused tells jurors relationship became 'weird and aggressive'
An ex-partner of a man accused of murdering his student lover has told jurors their own relationship became "weird and aggressive" and involved violence and death threats.
Aaron Ray is on trial accused of stabbing Jason Brockbanks, who studied at Northumbria University, to death after finding sexual messages with other men on his phone last September.
Mr Brockbanks' body was discovered at private student accommodation Mansion Tyne halls, Howard Street, in Newcastle, three days after he was killed by Ray last September, it is claimed.
Ray, 21, of Mayfield Road, Sunderland, denies the murder of Mr Brockbanks, 24, who was from Whitehaven, Cumbria, and was in his third-year at university.
He is being tried by a jury at Newcastle Crown Court.
Jay Wills-Faisca told detectives during a video-recorded interview, which has been played in court, he started dating Ray in early 2021, after they met on Grindr.
Mr Wills-Faisca said when Ray had a drink he would "sort of like disconnect from himself" and could become abusive and violent.
He said that he and Ray broke up and got back together but "it got weird and aggressive".
Mr Wills-Faisca said during a meal at a restaurant Ray, who was celebrating his birthday, started drinking and "getting nasty".
He said: "I just made up an excuse I needed to go, a family emergency, just to get out of there."
He added: "Before then, there was one time I was at his, I think I had been at his for a few days, he lived with his mam and dad. They were in bed. I was trying to sleep and he was drinking next to me.
"Then, he was calling my mam and family every name under the sun.
"While he was doing that, I was on the phone, so he couldn't see, ordering a taxi, to come and pick me up.
"As soon as he saw me do that he flung my phone and launched himself at me, he threw himself across the room.
"I shouted for his mam and dad. I managed to get him off me.
"He smacked me a few times in the head, nothing to leave a mark.
"His dad got him, I got my suitcase with all my stuff and went downstairs."
Mr Wills-Faisca said he and Ray "properly broke up" in around September 2021 and added: "That's when the real threats started."
He told detectives Ray would turn up at his house at all hours, banging on the door, sending "vile messages" and issuing death threats.
He added: "He said he would kill me, he would kill my mam, my grandma, my family.
"There was constant calls, telling people I was abusing him when it was completely the other way around.”
Mr Wills-Faisca said he believed Ray hacked his phone and that he had a drink problem and when asked if he was frightened of him he replied: "Yeah, I was frightened."
He was then asked by a detective what he thought about Ray's threats to kill him and said: "One hundred per cent, he probably would."
Mr Wills-Faisca said Ray would call him the "C-word" and added: "I'm half Portuguese so it would be like 'go back to your own country', racist, 'learn our language' and stuff, I obviously speak English fine."
He said Ray would tell him "your mam doesn't love you".
The court heard Mr Wills-Faisca took out a non-molestation order against Ray.
During cross examination, Ray's barrister Toby Hedworth QC told Mr Wills-Faisca, who appeared in court via video link, his allegations were "completely untrue" and added: "He has never raised a finger towards you in terms of personal violence."
Mr Wills-Faisca replied: "I object to that."
Mr Hedworth added: "He has never uttered any threat to you or any member of your family."
Mr Wills-Faisca replied: "I also object to that."
During re-examination, Mr Wills-Faisca told the'court: "When he gets angry he doesn't really have a filter, he just sees red and that's it.
"When he drank he just wasn't normal, he was crazy, narcissistic.
"I've seen him drunk, he's capable of doing anything.
"When he drank, that's when the rage and anger came out."
Jurors have heard it was on September 27 last year Mr Brockbanks was found dead inside his flat by an accommodation manager who had been asked to check on his welfare.
A postmortem examination revealed he had a stab wound to his right abdomen, which was fatal, and two knife injuries to his back.
The trial continues.