‘Man stabbed his love rival in the back’

Stabbed: Paul McDonagh
Stabbed: Paul McDonagh
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A homeless man stabbed a love rival in the back with a Stanley knife because he was jealous of the attention the man received from a young woman, a court has been told.

Preston Crown Court heard Paul McDonagh was found dead in an open garage four days after being attacked by Bernard McSorley, 53, who denies murder.

Following the attack on October 24, McSorley spoke about stabbing Mr McDonagh, who had also been sleeping rough, “as though it were the normal thing in the circumstances”.

A number of people witnessed McSorley running up the steps behind TK Maxx, in Church Street, Lancaster, and attacking Mr McDonagh, shouting something like “you’re a dead man”, the court was told.

Staff at the Lancaster and District Homeless Action Service (LDHAS) spoke of McSorley having “a very bad grievance” with Mr McDonagh, 30, who was known as Hightower, in the days leading up to the attack.

Both men were regular users of the city’s Homeless Centre.

Paul Reid QC, prosecuting, told Preston Crown Court: “The attack appears to have been motivated by McSorley’s jealousy towards Paul McDonagh. McSorley had developed feelings towards a much younger woman, Lorna Nardone, but she did not reciprocate those feelings and had feelings for Paul McDonagh.

“Paul McDonagh told her that McSorley had told him to stay away from her or he would hurt him.”

On the morning of the stabbing, , Miss Nardone, Paul McDonagh and another man, Freddie Broadbent were at the bus station in Lancaster waiting for McSorley to arrive.

But when the defendant saw Lorna with Mr McDonagh, he shouted “you’re going to get it”, the court was told.

Later that day, McSorley was seen running up the steps behind TK Maxx to where Mr McDonagh was sitting and attacking him, stabbing him in the back with the knife.

Mr McDonagh went to Lancaster Royal Infirmary with Freddie Broadbent where the wound was stitched.

But at around 1pm on October 29, Mr McDonagh was found dead by homeless centre staff after a young woman who lived nearby became concerned about his condition.

At first it was thought Mr McDonagh had died from hyperthermia but a post mortem examination found the cause of death was shock and haemorrhage with the underlying cause being the stab wound to the back.

Despite admitting the stabbing, McSorley made no comment when he was interviewed by police and denies a single count of murder.