ONE of the two women accused of Lee McKnight’s murder was seen 'mopping' near the front door where somebody cried out in pain during a beating, a jury heard.

At Carlisle crown court, a couple who had lived opposite the terraced house where Mr McKnight was allegedly attacked said they heard somebody ‘yelping’ in pain.

The prosecution say that 26-year-old Mr McKnight was 'beaten to the point of death' in the Charles Street property in the early hours of July 24 last year over a drugs debt.

He was then 'dumped' - badly beaten but still alive - in the River Caldew south of Carlisle, the court heard. The six accused people include 26-year-old Coral Edgar and her mother Carol, 47.

The first witness yesterday was a young woman, who said she was woken in the early hours of July 24 by her boyfriend because he had seen something 'kicking off' over the road.

Looking out from an upstairs window, she said, she saw shadows of people through the front door glass panels of the house where the Edgars lived.

The shadows were from three people she took to be men, 'hitting down' at somebody on the floor. “How hard were each of them hitting,” asked prosecuting QC Timothy Cray.

The woman replied: “Putting all their force into it, I’d say.” She thought she could see an attacker hitting out with something that was 'longer than a hand'.

The witness said she heard a man cry out three times from behind the door, as if 'in pain'. She heard music coming from the house.

In later evidence, she said she saw the shadows move away from the front door but then another shadow appeared. “I saw Coral’s shadow - as if she was mopping,” said the woman.

Asked why she thought the person was Coral, the woman said: “Because I could see the ponytail - how Coral had her hair.” She also then saw Coral unlock the front door to let in her mother, who arrived in her vehicle, she said.

“Coral was saying something and pointed backwards as if she was pointing into the house.”

The woman said she heard another cry of pain.

“It was as if it was further away. It came from the back of the house. I could hear it over the music. It was one ‘Ahhh’, as if it came the kitchen; from the back of the house.”

Carol Edgar was in the house by this time, said the woman. The witness agreed that she had not initially wanted to talk to police because she didn’t want to be seen as a 'grass'.

She added: “Then I heard how serious it was; that Lee McKnight had been murdered and it was really playing on my mind. That’s what made me go to the police in the end.”

The jury then heard from the woman’s boyfriend, who said he had stopped watching TV at 2am that morning.

“I heard loud banging - as if somebody’s door was getting kicked through,” he said. “I jumped out of bed and looked through the blind.”

He recalled seeing shadows through the front door glass panels at the Edgar’s home. The shadows showed the people involved 'whacking down', he said.

He said one of the shadows indicated that one of the people behind the door had "something in his hand".

He said: “As bad as it sounds, we thought it was an every day occurrence over that road... that’s the sort of street it was.” He said he and his girlfriend heard one or two “yelps”.

The man described seeing Carol Edgar arriving in her jeep, which was left parked right outside the  her and Coral's front door.

When she arrived she appeared to be in "good spirits", "bouncy" and "full of life", he said. But after moving towards the dront door and Coral, something was said and Carol stopped being boncey, he said.

It was as if something had "sobered her up", said the man.

The witness went on to say that he too had not wanted at first wanted to speak to the police because he had assumed the violence involved a drugs dispute and did not want to get involved. But what was done to Mr McKnight, he said, was “unfair” and “cowardly.”

Coral and Carol Edgar deny murder, as do Jamie Davison, 26, of Beverley Rise, Harraby; Arron Graham, 26, of Blackwell Road, Currock; Jamie Lee Roberts, 18, of Grey Street; and his father Paul Roberts, 51, also of Grey Street.

The prosecution say Mr McKnight was "lured" to the Charles Street property by Coral Edgar and then beaten up by Davison, Jamie Lee Roberts and Graham as soon as he arrived because he was in debt to Davison.

According to the prosecution, Carol Edgar and Paul Roberts were "helpers", the latter having helped his son by providing him with a change of clothes after the attack.

The trial continues.