LEE McKnight called a taxi and travelled to the Charles Street area of Carlisle shortly before his violent death — but his phone was never found.

At the city’s crown court, a murder trial jury was guided through phone evidence allegedly linked to the case, with prosecutor Tim Evans outlining calls, texts and social media data from the phone records of 26-year-old Mr McKnight.

The court also heard about phone records for the six people who are accused of Mr McKnight's murder.

The messages included Snapchat contact between Mr McKnight and a young woman he was on "friendly terms" with, 26-year-old Coral Edgar. She is among the people who were later charged with his murder.

Messages between the pair were logged after midnight on July 24, the day Mr McKnight died. The content of the messages is unknown but earlier the pair exchanged messages containing kisses, the court heard.

Mr McKnight called a taxi at 2-19am. It dropped him in Fusehill Street area, near Charles Street, where Coral Edgar lived with her mother Carol, 17 minutes later.

That was his last phone activity to be logged and his phone handset, the jury heard, “has never been found”.

The prosecution say that Mr McKnight was “lured” to the Charles Street address by Coral Edgar in the early hours of July 24 with a promise of sex - but when he arrived there he was immediately attacked by three men.

That beating was so sustained, the jury heard, he was left "at the point of death,” though still alive.

The three men accused of administering that violence are Jamie Davison, 26, of Beverley Rise, Harraby, Arron Graham, 25, of Blackwell Road, Currock, and 18-year-old Jamie Lee Roberts, of Grey Street, Carlisle.

Shortly after 5am that day, a farmer found Mr McKnight body - partially wrapped in a curtain - in the River Caldew near Cummersdale.

The prosecution say he was a “marked man” because he owed a drugs debt to Davison.

At 10.10am on July 23, Davison received a social media message which showed he was “being chased for money” — by out of town drugs criminals, says the prosecution.

It read: “Lad. I’ve got to see you today. I’ll be in Carlisle by 2pm. You need to meet me with some paper [money] before it gets messy. Trying to do you a favour.”

Messages that night showed “the pressure was still on Davison to pay his supplier”. One, at 10.41pm, stated: “We grab that paper [money] tomorrow.” Davison replied: “Ok, sound mate.”

Also accused of murder are Coral Edgar's mother Carol, 46, and Jamie Lee Roberts’ father Paul, 51, also of Grey Street, Carlisle. All six defendants deny murder. The trial continues.