The prosecution case in the Kyle Byfield murder trial is nearing its conclusion.
Natasha Capell, 26, of Jubilee Court, Banbury is charged with the murder of the 23-year-old after he died from a stab wound at the Horton General Hospital on April 16.
The trial started at Oxford Crown Court on Monday where Capell admitted manslaughter but denies stabbing Mr Byfield to cause serious real harm. On day four of the trial today (Friday), the jury heard more witness statements led by prosecuting barrister Alan Blake.
PC Barry Duplock of Banbury Police Station was called to Capell’s flat at about 8am on April 16 after a report from ambulance staff of a suspicious incident. He told the court how he understood a male was in cardiac arrest after some broken glass had penetrated his ribcage.
He added that he saw Capell outside the block of flats and was very upset and distressed but appeared to be intoxicated. When talking to him about what happened Capell said to PC Duplock that ‘Mr Byfield was ‘steaming’ and falling over everything and there was glass on the floor, and that Mr Orwa left because Mr Byfield was ‘looking in a bad way’.
Also in the witness block was PC Dominic Watson, who was with PC Duplock when they arrived at Capell’s flat.
He said: “I noticed a distressed female and spoke to her outside the flat. I remember we were speaking with her to try and get an idea of what had happened, I could tell she was under the influence of alcohol and was staggering a bit.
“She said that Mr Byfield has been dancing and messing around the flat and fell on some broken glass.”
While emergency services were trying to save Mr Byfield’s life, the court heard how police tried to locate Jake Orwa, who was with Capell and Mr Byfield when the incident happened, and had left the scene.
CCTV footage caught him travelling through Banbury to see his half-sister Danielle and her flat in Kennedy House on Orchard Way.
PS David Atherton of Thames Valley Police arrived at the Jubilee Court at about 8.05am and after hospital staff informed him that Mr Byfield had been stabbed, he told the court that both he and other officers drove to Mr Orwa’s home address in Harlech Close.
After Mr Orwa wasn’t there, officers were informed he was in fact at Kennedy House and were deployed to find him.
Speaking in the witness box, Danielle Orwa told the jury how she got up on April 16 at about 7.30am and was getting ready to go to work when her half-brother Jake knocked on the door.
She said: “He was very upset because he was crying. I was trying to speak to him and ask what the matter was but I could not really understand what he was saying. He was not really talking a lot.
“He then said that his friend was dead and that Natasha [Capell] had stabbed him. He was not making much sense, just hysterically crying and saying that Kyle [Byfield] was dead.
“He said that things got out of hand and Natasha [Capell] went to the kitchen, got a knife and stabbed him. After she stabbed Kyle [Byfield], he said she asked him to hide the weapon and said he tried to block what happened but she went around him.”
The court heard another statement from PC Lucy McDonagh of Thames Valley Police who arrived at Jubilee Court at about 8.10am.
It was heard how she drove Capell from her flat in Jubilee Court to her mother’s address in the Bretch Hill area as she wanted to spend time with her daughter.
PC McDonagh said: “She was distressed and emotional and at times quite snappy. At the time I was not aware of the relationship between her and Mr Byfield, she continued to ask whether her friend was going to be OK. I could smell alcohol on her.
“When we got to her mother’s address she was crying and sobbing and asked to spend some time with her daughter, when officers at back at Jubilee Court said we needed to arrest her.”
The court then heard how Capell was reluctant to leave her mother’s address and said that officers would have to arrest her. PC McDonagh added that she heard Capell say to her mother ‘I have ruined my life, I have ruined it all.’
When officers were then made aware that Mr Byfield had died, they then arrested Capell on suspicion of murder, and she shouted ‘I would never kill my friend’.
In cross examination, Adrian Redgrave QC, defending, said: “When the news that Kyle Byfield had died she was shocked and distraught to the extent that the colour drained from her face and she had difficulty breathing?
PC McDonagh replied: “She looked physically in shock at the suggestion that Kyle Byfield had died.”
And summing up the police evidence, recently retired police constable Christopher Bolger was with Capell when he broke the news to her that Mr Byfield had died.
He said: “She [Capell] was shouting ‘You what?’ and continued to shout over me in a distressed state. She appeared visibly upset by what I had just said to her.”
The trial continues back at Oxford Crown Court on Monday.