Care worker 'stabbed man after girls' night out'

A care worker stabbed her friend's boyfriend to death after the pair had sex with two soldiers they met in a pub, a court heard today.

Lara Doran, 23, returned to her flat with her friend Leann Phillips and the two servicemen after a girls' night out in Canterbury, Kent.

During the evening, Miss Phillips exchanged text messages and phone calls with her boyfriend Andrew Wilby, who grew suspicious about her behaviour.

A row ensued after he arrived at Doran's one-bedroom flat in Tennyson Avenue, Canterbury, following the departure of the two soldiers, Maidstone Crown Court heard.

Prosecutor John Traversi said Mr Wilby, 21, grabbed Miss Phillips by the throat and the pair ended up scuffling on the floor of Doran's bedroom.

The jury of six men and six women was told Doran tried to remonstrate with Mr Wilby to force him off her friend.

As Mr Wilby was on top of Miss Phillips, punching her, she went to her kitchen to fetch a knife, she told police in interview.

Doran said she was struck herself during the melee and stabbed Mr Wilby once in the back with a black-handled blade.

Mr Wilby, of St Stephen's Road, Canterbury, died from the single stab wound after being admitted to the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital in Margate.

Doran denies murder.

Mr Traversi said the relationship between Mr Wilby and Miss Phillips was "not a smooth-running affair" and was punctuated by episodes of violence.

"During the evening of June 19 Leann Phillips and Lara Doran made an arrangement to go out together for a girls' night," he added.

"Leann went round to Lara's flat, arriving just after 9pm. They went out and they visited a number of pubs and clubs, having drinks in most of them.

"At some stage they went to a pub and met two soldiers stationed in Canterbury. The four of them went to another pub for further drinks and eventually the decision was made to go back to the defendant's flat in a taxi, stopping at Asda to buy some drinks.

"The four of them, Leann Phillips, Lara Doran and the two soldiers, went to the flat and into the living room where they had some Jack Daniels and Coke, and Leann and Lara smoked some cannabis.

"At some point all four of them had sex in various permutations, which came to an end when Lara was sick, no doubt as a result of the drink and cannabis she had taken."

Due to Doran's condition, the two soldiers put her to bed and Miss Phillips and the two servicemen ended up in the sitting room, the court heard.

Meanwhile, Mr Wilby was on a night out himself but during the course of the evening kept in contact with Miss Phillips via text and phone calls.

Mr Traversi said: "It was as a result of calls and texts between Leann and Andrew while she was in the living room with the two soldiers that Andrew came to the flat.

"Leann told the two strangers to go as one or more of their partners were coming."

The soldiers left the flat before Mr Wilby arrived and an argument broke out between him and Miss Phillips.

Mr Traversi said: "After his arrival, they were together in the sitting room and they argued. She left the room to help Lara, who was still unwell, and when she came back Andrew was examining her phone.

"He asked her about some items that had caught his attention and shouted at her, calling her a slut and a whore."

The scuffle between Mr Wilby and Miss Phillips ensued and they ended up grappling on Doran's bedroom floor while she was still in bed unwell.

Doran fetched a knife from the kitchen and stabbed him once, causing him to collapse on his back before Miss Phillips called for an ambulance and placed a cloth on his injury.

The court heard that Miss Phillips became hysterical, screaming repeatedly: "Is he dead?" after emergency services arrived at the scene.

She told an officer: "He found a message that he didn't like on my mobile. We started arguing. He was on top of me. I don't know what happened."

In one police interview, Doran said: "I was out on a girls' night in Canterbury with my friend Leann. We met two blokes, one called Marc with long hair and another with brown hair.

"I had never met them before but Leann had. We brought them back to my flat at about 12am. We were having loads of fun when Leann decided to call her partner Andrew and he came round."

She said the next thing she knew, Mr Wilby was bleeding everywhere and Miss Phillips was screaming as he continued to try to hit her.

Doran was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and initially claimed a "blond guy" was responsible for the stabbing.

Later, she changed her story and admitted she had stabbed him but insisted she acted in defence of her friend.

She told officers: "I'm saying, 'Look, you are causing a load of noise, you are going to get me kicked out. Shut up, shut up'.

"I got off my bed and tried pushing him off her. I said, 'Get off, get off her, leave her alone'. He was just so strong.

"He was laying into her. I staggered into the kitchen. I just thought I need to get him off her. I just took the knife and wandered back in there.

"I just wanted him off her so he wouldn't kill her."

She claimed she was "not a bad person" and insisted she had not intended to kill or hurt anyone.

"I just wanted him off my mate," she said in interview.

The trial was adjourned to tomorrow.

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