The 26-year-old woman accused of murdering Kyle Byfield stabbed him after a drunken argument, a court has heard.
Natasha Capell of Jubilee Court is charged with the murder of the 23-year-old after he died at the Horton General Hospital in Banbury on April 16.
She pleaded not guilty to murder at an earlier hearing at Oxford Crown Court on July 17 but admitted manslaughter at the start of her trial back at the same court yesterday (Monday).
On the second day of her trial, Alan Blake, prosecuting, gave his opening statement to the jury.
He said: “Early in the morning of April 16 she caused a fatal injury to 23-year-old Kyle Byfield by stabbing him in the chest with a large kitchen knife. The stabbing took place in her flat in Jubilee Court after she had spent several hours drinking alcohol.
“The crown suggests this was a spur of the moment impulsive act from a hot-headed woman on drink. There was no deep motive for Kyle Byfield’s death but we do allege she was angry with Kyle that morning, armed herself with a large implemented weapon and when she thrust the knife into his chest it was to cause real serious harm.
“She may have regretted what she has done but a young man has tragically and pointlessly lost his life.”
The court was told how Mr Byfield was in Banbury town centre on April 15 watching a football match and drinking with friends. After exchanging messages with his friend Jake Orwa, he was invited by Mr Orwa to his mother’s address in Harlech Close where Capell was drinking as well.
It was told how Mr Orwa and Capell had known each other for many years and that according to Mr Orwa, Capell was ‘a nice person when sober but would become loud and aggressive when drinking’.
Before Mr Byfield arrived at the property at about 1.30am on Thursday, April 16, Mr Blake told the court how Mr Orwa and other people in the house had already been drinking for several hours. Mr Orwa and Mr Byfield then took a taxi to Tesco to get some more alcohol but were refused because they had no identification.
On their arrival back, it was told that Capell got angry because they hadn’t come back with more alcohol and smashed a glass against a wall.
Sometime before 6am that morning, Mr Orwa, Mr Byfield and Capell all left the property on Harlech Close and made their way back to Capell’s flat in Jubilee Court, stopping off at the Mace store on Broad Street to pick up some more alcohol.
The court heard how the trio got back to the flat when arguements started to develop between Capell and Mr Byfield and Capell smashed a mug against the wall. After threatening to ‘stab’ Mr Byfield, who just smiled and laughed, Capell returned from the kitchen with a large knife.
Mr Blake then told the court how Capell made two swings with the knife, with the second one going into Mr Byfield’s chest. He added that Mr Orwa grabbed the knife off Capell and threw it into the kitchen, with Capell screaming: ‘I cannot go down for this’.
Mr Orwa then phoned the paramedics, initally telling them Mr Byfield had fallen on some broken glass. But when paramedics arrived at the property at about 7.25am, they became unconvinced about the cause of the injury and notified the police.
The jury heard how Capell and Orwa both left the flat while paramedics were trying to save Mr Byfield’s life, with CCTV footage showing Capell walking up Broad Street and Mr Orwa walking up George Street to try and get a taxi back to his half-sister Danielle’s house.
The knife was found in a newspaper storage box located at a newsagents at the top of Broad Street later the same day and toxicology results showed the trio were three time over the drink drive limit.
Mr Blake said: “When she used the weapon to inflict the injuries, she intended to cause real serious harm and that is what she did and the consequences tragically are irreversible.”
But in cross examinating Mr Orwa, Adrian Regrave, defending, suggested it was Mr Orwa that had threatened to stab Mr Byfield after arguments, something which he denied five times when asked.
Mr Orwa said: “I did not threaten to stab Kyle. We had arguments but they were always about football. We had our little arguements but we made up after two minutes. We never fought each other.”
Mr Redgrave also referred to when the trio were in Capell’s flat, and that she asked Mr Byfield and Mr Orwa to leave as her mother was dropping off her daughter.
Mr Redgrave said: “She became more upset, annoyed and angry that you were refusing to go. She was determined that you leave and picked up a knife which was on a table in the living room.
“I suggest that it is untrue that the knife was taken from the kitchen and untrue that she was threatening to stab him. It is not true that you were in the middle of Kyle Byfield and Natasha Capell when she had the knife.
“When you were both panicking it was you and not Capell that smashed a mug against the wall and the idea to tell the ambulance that the injury Kyle Byfield gained from broken glass was from you.”
Mr Orwa said: “I know what I saw. He was one of my best mates, I would never threaten to stab a good friend of mine. I did not know what to do straight away.”
The trial continues.