Murder trial hears student found stabbed to death in shower had exchanged online messages about sex
A university student whose dead body was found in his shower three days after he was stabbed by his lover had exchanged online messages about sex with another man, murder jurors have heard.
Prosecutors claim the internet exchanges, via dating site Grindr, on Jason Brockbanks' phone, were seen by Aaron Ray and triggered him to launch a fatal knife attack.
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 a third-year student at Northumbria University.
He is being tried by a jury at Newcastle Crown Court.
Prosecutor David Lamb KC has told jurors Ray took a video of himself scrolling through Mr Brockbank's phone screen, in the bathroom at the student flat, in the moments before he killed him.
Jurors have today seen extracts of the messages that were seen on the phone by Ray just before the killing.
This included Mr Brockbanks asking about "cuddles", graphic sexual references and a photograph.
Mr Lamb told the court Ray and Mr Brockbanks had been out in Newcastle together and returned to the student flat in the city in the early hours of September 24.
Mr Lamb told jurors: "The prosecution case is that while the two men were inside Jason's flat this defendant videoed himself, using his own mobile telephone in the en-suite bathroom, scrolling through Jason Brockbanks' mobile telephone and recording messages that Jason had exchanged with other men.
"We suggest it was that scrolling and the realisation that Jason was sexually interested in other males that was the trigger and motivating factor for the stabbing and ultimately this murder."
The court heard after the stabbing, Ray took the knife he had used in the killing into the communal kitchen then left the accommodation, walked to Newcastle Central Station and got a taxi from there to Sunderland.
Jurors heard Ray exchanged online messages with friends when he arrived back home and had told one: "I'm in trouble."
He also discussed a trip to Siberia during another online conversation.
Jurors have heard it was on September 27 Mr Brockbanks was found dead insidehis 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.
Ray was arrested on September 29 and admitted he and Mr Brockbanks had been involved in a violent struggle but said he did not realise he had died.
Ray told detectives Mr Brockbanks was "absolutely mortal drunk", could become violent in drink and said on the night "he came at me, like worse than I've every seen in my whole life" so he picked up the knife to get him off.
Ray said he and Mr Brockbanks had been together for around three months and had met on dating app Grindr.
He told police an argument had started after he saw an explicit Grindr notification on Mr Brockbanks' phone, when he thought they were "exclusive", while they were on the bed.The trial continues.