Preston murder: Judge tell jurors they must decide whether or not defendant Connor Rumble has told lies

A judge has addressed a jury as he sums up evidence in the case of an archaeologist accused of murdering a man in a knife attack.

By Stef Hall
Monday, 12th July 2021, 3:45 pm

Connor Rumble, 26, of New Hall Lane, Preston, denies murdering Adam le Roi, who died of shock and haemorrhage due to stab wounds to his left shoulder penetrating the axillary and pulmonary arteries.

Mr Le Roi, 25, was stabbed multiple times last November after he and his friend Christopher Johnson visited Rumble's flat in Kayley House to complain about alleged anti-social behaviour.

The prosecution maintains Rumble attacked an unarmed man with murderous intent.

Adam Le Roi

But the defence argue the knife wound was sustained by Adam Le Roi as he advanced towards Connor Rumble at a time the defendant was backing away from him, brandishing the knife in an effort to maintain a safe distance between them.

Judge Brian Cummings QC addressed jurors on the fact that the defence now relied on by Rumble had not been mentioned in his police interview after the stabbing.

He said: "The prosecution say if it was true he could reasonably have been expected to mention it at the time of the interview.

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The inference the prosecution invites jurors to draw is the defendant's explanation of how the knife came into contact with Mr Le Roi is a lie he has come up with since his interview.

"His explanation is the situation in which he found himself in, i.e. in police custody accused of murder, was terrifying and he simply followed the advice of his solicitor.

"The prosecution do not dispute he was given such advice.

"It is for you to make your own decision whether the fact relied on by the defendant is something he could reasonably have been expected to mention in interview."

He also addressed them about the prosecution's allegation Rumble lied in a 999 call he had made.

He added: "The prosecution as you know have accused him of lying in the 99 call he made, specifically they contend the defendant, by omitting to mention he had left his own flat and followed them along the corridor with a knife, deliberately gave a false impression of what had occurred and the defendant lied when he said his friend had been really badly injured, which was not the position."

The court heard he had also claimed in the call the men had come at him with a knife and had been vague about the injury saying: "I think I might have hit them with it."

Judge Cummings said: "The defence's position is the defendant has told no lies.

"A call was made in the immediate aftermath of a shocking incident - he was shaken up and if there were any errors or omissions they are simply the product of the state he was in.

"First and foremost it is for you to decide whether the defendant has lied about anything and if so about what."

He also addressed jurors on the fact the defendant was of good character, had never been in trouble with the police or been convicted of a criminal offence, and people had given testimonials about his dislike of confrontation or violence.

He added: " Although good character can never provide a defence to a criminal charge it nonetheless can be taken into account by them against the prosecution's allegation he has told lies in his case."

Jurors are expected to retire to consider their verdict on Tuesday.


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