The prosecution and defending barristers in the Kyle Byfield murder trial have delivered their final speeches to the jury.
Alan Blake and Adrian Redgrave QC spoke to about their arguments on day six of the trial at Oxford Crown Court today (Tuesday) where Natasha Capell, 26, of Jubilee Court, Banbury is charged with Mr Byfield’s murder.
She admits stabbing the 23-year-old but denies intending to cause him real serious harm.
Speaking on behalf of the prosecution, Alan Blake said that Capell kept a pretence by lying to the police that Mr Byfield had fallen on some glass. He also said that Jake Orwa has told the truth about his version of events on April 16.
Mr Blake said: “What is critical is her intention at the time of the fatal stabbing, not what she felt half an hour later.
“The crown suggests however unattractive some of Mr Orwa’s features and the fact that he tried to help the defendant cover up in moments of panic, he has told the truth about the murder of his friend.
“On Monday she [Capell] asked me why she would lie and it is not for me to assume, but ask yourself the same question about Mr Orwa. Why should he perjure himself? Why should he cover for her? He did this for his friend, he told you ‘I want justice for Kyle’. We as the crown believe he has done the right thing.
“He joined in the lie about Mr Byfield falling on broken glass, something he described as a regret. He was not going to come out of this well and 45 minutes after the incident he told the truth, something the Crown says, Natasha Capell never has.
“She had announced her intention by going into the kitchen and making some actual threat to what was happening. Secondly she got the knife not from the living room but the kitchen. She claims she did not threaten but struggles to remember what she was saying. The waving of the knife then changes to a stabbing in the chest.
“At the time of the stabbing she intended to really cause serious harm. But now and maybe even within seconds of doing it people wish they could turn back the clock and Natasha Capell falls into this category. She armed herself and because she stabbed him with the knife it is too late to turn back the clock.
“She would like to but you can be rest assured that there are others in this courtroom that long for that more.”
Defending barrister Mr Redgrave QC told the jury in his final speech that is is ‘unimaginable’ Natasha Capell intended to kill Kyle Byfield.
Mr Redgrave QC also asked the jury to question the reliability of Jake Orwa as a witness statement and some of his ‘inconsistencies’ on events in the flat that led to Mr Byfield’s death.
Mr Redgrave QC said: “Let me come straight to the point. The first point is, we submit, that it is unimaginable Natasha Capell intended to kill Kyle Byfield. You could express it differently, you can pose the question in your mind: did she want him dead, did she mean to kill, is that what she was trying to do?
“She caused a tragic death by her irresponsible and dangerous conduct in swinging the knife that early morning and it is that which makes her guilty of the serious crime of manslaughter.
“The argument was about their unwillingness to go and she felt she had to make some dramatic gesture to say ‘I really mean it, I want you to leave’. Not just dramatic but threatening.
“If you could see what she was trying to achieve it was that these two men leave the flat. The last thing she wanted to do is to stab one of them and injury him seriously, to have a badly injured man in her flat.
“It is, we submit, the last thing she wanted to happen, intended to happen. She wanted them to leave.
“If anything can be learnt from this tragedy it is that she, Jake Orwa and others who were leading the sort of life with this extended drinking can now see what can result from the way they were behaving.
“She bears for the rest of her life the knowledge that she is responsible for someone’s death. We submit that it is wrong to say you are sure she intended to murder Kyle Byfield.”
Judge Patrick Eccles will finishing summing up the trial tomorrow (Wednesday) where the jury is expected to retire and consider their verdict.