Couple `heard arguing' on day of murder

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A former model accused of stabbing her fiance to death had been heard arguing with him on the day of the murder, a court was told yesterday.

Shirley Peters, who lived in the flat directly above the home of Tracie Andrews and Lee Harvey, at The Becks in Alvechurch, Worcestershire, told Birmingham Crown Court that she would sometimes hear them arguing, and on occasions these arguments would last all day "on and off".

Mrs Peters said that on 1 December last year - the day of the killing - her mother had called round for lunch at 1pm. She said she could hear "raised voices" and after listening to the couple argue throughout lunch she left her flat to go for a walk.

Ms Andrews, 28, denies murdering Mr Harvey on 1 December last year.

Earlier, a police officer told how he and a colleague were called to the couple's home by Ms Andrews to break up a row she was having with Mr Harvey, just five weeks before he was stabbed to death. Constable David Hind said that she was distressed when she met him at the door of her flat when the officers arrived, in response to a call, on 25 October last year.

She asked him to remove Mr Harvey from the property. "Mr Harvey was sat at a table in the lounge and he appeared to be quite calm," PC Hind said. "She was in quite a worked-up state. She was quite aggressive towards him, almost provoking him at some stages. There were verbal exchanges between the two of them."

He split the couple up, getting each into separate rooms, he said. But Ms Andrews repeatedly tried to break through and go to the room where Mr Harvey was. "I had to keep pulling her back in towards the lounge and sitting back down again," PC Hind told the jury.

"Obviously Miss Andrews wanted Mr Harvey to leave, and he wanted to take clothing before he did so. We eventually managed to get Mr Harvey to leave and he went out of the door. Miss Andrews was still shouting and upset - shouting towards him, and it was rather hostile," he said.

David Crigman QC, for the prosecution, has said that Ms Andrews and Mr Harvey had stormy and turbulent two-and-a-half year relationship during which Mr Harvey moved out of the flat the couple shared on numerous occasions and returned home to his parents.

The prosecution has claimed that Ms Andrews and Mr Harvey had a row on the day he died, and that she attacked him, stabbing him more than 30 times, as they drove home from a Sunday night drink at a pub. Mr Crigman alleged that after stabbing Mr Harvey, she concocted an elaborate story that he was killed by a mystery motorist in a road-rage-style attack.

Under cross-examination from Ronald Thwaites QC, for the defence, PC Hind said Ms Andrews told him on 25 October that she had been seeing Mr Harvey for a while and wanted to end the relationship, but he would not accept it.

He added that Ms Andrews had told him the current problem with Mr Harvey was caused by the presence "from time to time" of the father of her daughter at her flat.

The case continues today.