THE Carlisle Crown Court jurors hearing the Lee McKnight murder trial have resumed considering their verdicts.

The trial is now in its final phase after the The Honourable Mr Justice Hilliard completed his summary of the evidence yesterday - and warned the jury to judge the defendants on only the evidence they have heard in court. 

The prosecution says Mr McKnight, 26, was “beaten to the point of death” after being lured to a terraced house in Charles Street by 26-year-old Coral Edgar on July 24 last year.

Three men ­— Jamie Davison, 26, Arron Graham, 26, and Jamie Lee Roberts, 18 ­— are accused of attacking Mr McKnight over a drugs debt. Coral Edgar’s mum, Carol, 47, and Jamie Lee Roberts’ father Paul Roberts, 51, allegedly helped them.

Over the past few days, the jury has heard the defence advocates give closing speeches for all six defendants.

All deny murder.

Richard Pratt QC, for Jamie Davison, said the evidence showed it was the youngest defendant, Jamie Lee Roberts, who had gone to Charles Street on July 24 armed with a “knuckle-duster’ to attack Lee McKnight.

The claim – heard in earlier testimony – that Davison was a “psychopath”, said Mr Pratt, came from the teenager. “A cascade of lies had fallen from his lips,” he said.

“He was heard to say that Jamie Davison was a psychopath, and so the word psychopath has repeatedly appeared in questions, asked by [another advocate] in the case.

“Remember: the word originated not from any independent evidence but from the lips of an habitual liar, speaking to his former girlfriend; speaking on a prison phone.

"Can you trust a single word from this young man?”

Fiona Horlick QC, for Graham, said his defence case was simple. “He wasn’t at Charles Street at the material time,” she said. “He had nothing to do with enforcing Jamie Davison’s drugs debt.

“There is no evidence that he was an enforcer. He doesn’t owe anything to anybody and was not under any obligation.

"He’s a slightly gawky, slightly immature, young man.” There was no evidence placing Graham at Charles Street when Mr McKnight was attacked, said the QC.

Ms Horlick continued: “The only evidence [against Graham] comes from people in the dock, charged with murder themselves, who have their naked self-interest to serve.

"It’s evidence you need, not theories and not speculation.”

Richard Littler QC, for Jamie Lee Roberts, suggested it was Davison who had been “drug-fuelled” and “out of control” on the morning when Mr McKnight died.

He said the teenager’s case was helped by evidence from his private Snapchat messages and phone calls.

“It’s very clear from the evidence that Jamie Lee was upset by what happened at… Charles Street,” said the QC. He referred to messages that the teenager had sent to his former girlfriend after Mr McKnight was attacked.

Those messages included: “I love you a lot, my girl.”  Roberts also wrote, said Mr Littler: “It’s not my fault.”

Those messages were emotional, said the QC. Mr Littler asked the jury: “Does Jamie Lee look like he’s bossing Jamie Davison and Arron Graham at… Charles Street? Does he look like he’s ‘The man’? at … Charles Street?”

Mr Littler said: “Those messages suggest something a bit different: that Jamie Davison is not telling the truth and actually Jamie Lee wasn’t the boss; they tell us he wasn’t in charge.

"He was actually quite emotional because maybe he’d seen something terrible happen; something which was – in Jamie Lee’s words – ‘not my fault.’”

The teenager’s father Paul Roberts, 51, said Mr Littler, had described his son “crying” and being “upset” when he rang him that morning.

According to Caroline Goodwin QC, Coral Edgar never chose to get involved in the “bloodbath” at her Charles Street home on the morning of July 24. 

The QC questioned what Coral - at “rock bottom” and diagnosed with mental health conditions, and her drug-addicted mother Carol, 47 - could do to challenge the three men accused of attacking Lee McKnight on July 24.

“The difference between her and all the others,” said the QC “was that they made a choice to be there. She didn’t.

"It was their decision to be there; their choice. They intended to be there, involved in that bloodbath. They chose to be involved because they were each maximising their own personal interest.”

Gordon Cole QC said Paul Roberts had nothing to do with ‘dumping’ Mr McKnight into the river and had tried to help him.

There was no defence for whoever was responsible for that act - carried out while Mr McKnight was badly injured still breathing.

The QC reminded the jury of CCTV footage – recorded at 5.30am on July 24 – that showed Roberts walking his dog in Carlisle as the Nissan truck used to transport the badly injured Mr KcKnight was being abandoned at Wreay, near Carlisle.

It was “complete nonsense,” said Mr Cole, to suggest Paul Roberts agreed to put a body in a river. Nor was his DNA in the jeep used to transport Mr McKnight.

Graham and Davison had decided to “leap on the bandwagon” of laying the blame for what happened on two ‘easy targets’ – Paul Roberts and his son Jamie Lee Roberts.

Carol Edgar’s QC Toby Hedworth QC said she was not at Charles Street when Mr McKnight was attacked, wasn’t in her Nissan he was taken away and did not consent for its use.

She had returned home to “carnage,” not knowing who had done what. In her world, he said, there were consequences for talking to the police. There was no reason for her to want Lee McKnight, her main drug dealer, dead, said Mr Cole. 

The addresses given for each defendant were as follows: Davison is from Beverley Rise, Harraby; Graham, of Blackwell Road, Currock; Jamie Lee Roberts and his father Paul, of Grey Street, and Coral and Carol Edgar, of Charles Street, Carlisle.

As he sent the jury away for the day, the judge told them: "You only decide the case on the evidence you have seen and heard in court. You make no enquiries or researches of your own."

The jurors will resume their deliberations at 10am today.