Sunderland murder accused claims alleged victim 'became psychotic'
A man accused of stabbing his student lover to death told detectives he picked up a knife "to get him off me" after the alleged victim turned "psychotic".
Aaron Ray is on trial accused of murdering Jason Brockbanks, who studied at Northumbria University, 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.Jurors have today been shown video recordings of Ray being interviewed by detectives after he was arrested.
During the first interview, Ray was told Mr Brockbanks had been found dead in his student flat and was asked about his involvement.
Ray responded by giving his version of events on the night in question, claiming Mr Brockbanks would become violent and aggressive when he had been drinking.
Ray said: "Basically, on the night it happened I didn't even realise, obviously, he had died or anything but the reason I stabbed him was basically he was absolutely mortal drunk, it's happened in the past as well, when he drinks so much like that he becomes really violent and aggressive.
"That night he came at me worse than I have ever seen him in my whole life.
"It was quite frightening.
"It's not the first time when he has hit me and stuff.
"Normally I just take it. This particular night he was just so psychotic when he was hitting into me and stuff."
Ray told the officers this time he "reacted" and he picked up the knife "to get him off me", which led to a struggle.
He said the argument had started because a Grindr notification had popped up on Mr Brockbanks' phone, displaying a sexually explicit message.
Ray added: "That's when he flipped, he said 'what you doing looking at my phone' and stuff like that. He just started shouting and stuff, calling me psycho and things, saying 'why are you even looking'."
Ray was shown CCTV footage which captured him kicking Mr Brockbanks when they were outside the student accommodation, after they returned from the night out.
He said he could not remember the kick or why he did it but told the officers: "I wouldn't have just kicked him for no reason."
The detective told Ray he had portrayed himself as a victim and he added: "He's normally the one who punches me and stuff."
Jurors have heard it was on September 27, 2022, Mr Brockbanks was found dead inside his flat by an accommodation manager who had been asked to check on his welfare.
A post mortem examination revealed he had a stab wound to his right abdomen, which was fatal, and two knife injuries to his back.
The trial continues.