THE SOUND of Lee McKnight shouting out in pain as he was severely beaten in a terraced house in Carlisle was deliberately covered as his attackers put on music, a jury heard.

On day two of a murder trial at Carlisle Crown Court, QC Tim Cray set out in detail the prosecution version of events in the hours before Mr McKnight, 26, died on July 24 last year.

Beaten ‘to the point of death’, Mr McKnight was found dumped in the River Caldew shortly after 5am that day by a farmer.

Mr Cray has outlined the prosecution view that the 26-year-old had been ‘lured’ to the house in Charles Street in Carlisle in the early hours that day by Coral Edgar, 26, one of the six people accused of his murder.

She and the five other defendants all deny the allegation.

The court heard that Coral Edgar claimed she messaged Mr McKnight and invited him to her home because she had wanted to buy drugs from him.

“We say that is untrue,” said Mr Cray. “Common sense suggests that there are a limited amount of inducements which would cause him to leave his home and travel to Charles Street at 2am.”

Commenting on her messages to Mr McKnight, which were not traced, Mr Cray said: “We suggest these were probably booty messages: that the defendant believed he was probably on a promise of sex.

"That’s why we say that she was the lure.” After he was attacked, her home was “covered in blood", the court heard.

It showed Mr McKnight was attacked as soon as he got inside the front door of the Charles Street property, said Mr Cray.

Other bloodstains showed that the attack continued into the kitchen and while Mr McKnight was on the floor and in a chair.

The trial would also hear evidence from neighbours of the Edgars in Charles Street. Two residents became aware of “something kicking off” across the road from them, said Mr Cray.

They could see through a door panel. “Their impression was that three people were attacking a victim who was on the floor, just inside the door,” said Mr Cray.

“The attack was sustained, the blows forceful and they heard the victim. It must have been Lee, shouting in pain.

“One of the things they became aware of was that music was turned on and turned up in an attempt to cover the noise of the attack – and probably Lee’s pain as he was being attacked.”

The prosecution say the violence inflicted on Mr McKnight that morning – a severe and sustained beating – was organised by the man he owed a drugs debt to, 26-year-old Jamie Davison, allegedly helped by two men recruited as “extra muscle”, Arron Graham, 25, and Jamie Lee Roberts, 18.

By the time Lee was on his way to Charles Street, Coral’s mother Carol, 46, had left the house, taking her bull mastiff Toby with her – an indication that the scene was being set for the attack, said Mr Cray.

“If there’s going to be violence in the house, you don’t want a dog going crazy and waking up the entire neighbourhood and alerting everyone to what was going on,” said the barrister.

Carol Edgar claims she returned to Charles Street at 3.45am and was “oblivious” to what happened there because she had taken drugs.

The sixth defendant accused of murder, Paul Roberts, 51, the father of Jamie Lee Roberts, had arrived with a rucksack containing spare clothes – because the clothes to be replaced were covered in blood, the court heard.

Roberts senior said he saw Mr McKnight – badly beaten but alive – and he told the others to get him medical help.

Mr Cray said: “We have all six defendants in a two-up two-down house; you have a man who has been beaten – so severely he is on the path to death."

"Think about what must have been going on.

"Nobody at this point thought: ‘He’s still alive so we’ll get medical help; we’ll dial 999; or we even just take him up to the hospital and dump him outside.

“Nobody does anything like that.

"There was plenty of time to do that if anybody had cared at all for Lee but none of them did the decent thing. We say that’s further evidence that they were all prepared to do Lee serious harm.”

The trial continues.