Preston murder trial: Connor Rumble jabbed knife to "scare off" Adam Le Roi

An archaeology graduate accused of murdering a man at a block of flats has taken to the witness stand.

Thursday, 8th July 2021, 2:09 pm

Connor Rumble told jurors friends had been invited to his flat to play with an amateur poker card set, and that they had been playing a drinking game called "Ring of Fire" in the run up to the incident at Kayley House on New Hall Lane in Preston on Sunday, November 15, 2020.

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

He died in the Royal Preston Hospital having suffered catastrophic damage to major arteries.

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Adam Le Roi
Adam Le Roi

Rumble, 25, who lived on the first floor, accepts he killed him but denies his murder.

He claims he had grabbed the knife from his kitchen when Mr Le Roi and Mr Johnson started attacking his friend and had jabbed it towards him to "scare him away and make it clear I had the knife."

He was quizzed by defence lawyer Tim Storrie QC about the events leading up to Mr Le Roi being stabbed fatally.

He told jurors he was holding the knife in his fist as Mr Le Roi was trying to attack him and at one point was walking backwards, jabbing the knife to deter Mr Le Roi.

Rumble said he had started drinking at 7pm and consumed four cans of lager, two of his friend's bottles of lager, and shots of vodka and denies any of the men climbed into a nearby supermarket roof.

Asked to describe the effect of the drink on him he replied: " It definitely got me at least tipsy. We'd been drinking since about 7pm but I made sure to have a pretty decent meal beforehand so I could absorb a bit of the alcohol."

He said it was a "nice night" until the incident unfolded.

Jurors heard Rumble went to get ready for bed and "make himself sick" when he heard banging on the door.

Asked who was there he replied: " Two men that I had never seen before.

"They were swearing and the...their faces and speaking, yelling."

Mr Storrie asked: "What do you say the idea that they had come round to have a quiet word with you?"

Rumble said: " That's definitely not what it was when I opened the door," adding he felt "scared and confused"

He claimed Mr Le Roi had put his hand out to stop the door being closed and added: "As soon as he stopped the door from being shut all bets were off and they both started attacking us.

"It's not a situation I've ever been in before. (I was) scared to say the least."

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He said after 20 to 30 seconds of being punched by Mr Johnson and covering his head he shouted:'Stop' and the man did stop.

He added: " And then I looked up and saw he still looked very angry and I put my hands up and I kind of side stepped around him to the flat."

He said he saw his friend on his back, "covering his head and face" with Mr Le Roi over him and that he "feared they would be badly hurt or worse."

He said: " With what he was doing ...and Mr Johnson following me I knew I wouldn't have a chance."

Mr Storrie asked: "So what did you do?"

He replied: "So that's when I ran to the kitchen to look for something to scare them off with."

The court heard he told the men to "get the f**k out.

He added: " The man in orange noticed I had the knife and began to pull the man in blue off but he was continuing to punch and kick.

He admits he "thrusted the knife back and forth in the air" by his head but it did not deter Mr Le Roi.

He was shown CCTV of part of the incident that had been played to jurors and accepted he was in it, wearing a white T shirt and holding the knife, and that while off camera he had said "I'll f**king kill you" to "make him go away"

He said: " I thrust the knife at him because at this point he's still continuing to be aggressive and saying come on then and, and I don't know how to describe it, sort of with his chest outwards.

"I didn't want him anywhere near me".

Asked if he wanted to hurt him or harm him he said: " No."

Mr Storrie said: " Did you conclude in jabbing you may come into contact with him?"

Rumble said: "At the time no but when I called the police I thought it was definitely possible."

(proceeding)

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