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'It sent a shiver right through me': Murder accused tells of moment he heard love rival had died

PUBLISHED: 17:47 23 January 2019 | UPDATED: 17:48 23 January 2019

Flowers in memory of Scott Tarrant who was murdered on Underwood Close, Lowestoft.
Picture: Nick Butcher

Flowers in memory of Scott Tarrant who was murdered on Underwood Close, Lowestoft. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2018

A man accused of murder said he felt "cold" when he found out his love rival and former friend had died, a court has heard.

Scott Tarrant. Photo courtesy of Suffolk Constabulary.Scott Tarrant. Photo courtesy of Suffolk Constabulary.

Steven Butcher told jurors how his relationship with Rebecca Supple developed unbeknown to her partner Scott Tarrant, leading to Mr Tarrant “glassing” the 24-year-old.

Butcher, of Ashfield Crescent, Lowestoft, is accused of stabbing Scott Tarrant to death after an incident in Underwood Close on July 7, with the defendant giving evidence for the first time on Wednesday.

Miss Supple had invited him to stay the night and he arrived at her Underwood Close home at around 9.45pm, before leaving after 11pm.

He said: “I tried calling her after I left because I wanted to know if he was okay. I was in a complete state and in shock.

“A friend rang me and told me to come over because I didn’t sound like myself. I got there and I was shaking.

“I explained something terrible had happened but I couldn’t quite believe it, I didn’t want to.

“He was trying to get it out of me and I said there was an incident and it didn’t end well.

“When I heard he died it made me feel cold. It sent a shiver right through me.

“If I thought there would have been any problems I would have left.”

Miss Supple, who had been described as a “silly little girl with baggage and children” in Butcher’s police interview after his arrest, temporarily moved in with him after being “thrown out” by Mr Tarrant.

Butcher said: “She made it clear at the start that she was in love with him.

“I was seeing her more without him knowing and over time it developed into more than friendship. He was oblivious to it.

“Rebecca and I went out for a drink with another friend and she invited me to stay the night on their sofabed. She was meant to go upstairs to him but there was some sexual contact and we fell asleep under a blanket.

“He woke us up demanding to know what we were doing, but we were both fully clothed and he accepted it and asked me to leave. He wasn’t suspicious, and we hid it well.”

Butcher, who said he had known Miss Supple for around four years, had previously been invited for dinner with her and Mr Tarrant a number of times, but the friendship between the two men ended after Mr Tarrant found messages on Miss Supple’s phone, including ones saying she wanted to leave him for Butcher.

Butcher said: “He was very angry and said he had seen everything and that I was a dead man.

“He appeared outside my house gesturing towards me. He had his hand in his pocket and I thought he had a firearm, but I didn’t actually see it.”

Miss Supple also invited Butcher on a four-night holiday to Amsterdam with her mother and a family friend, which Mr Tarrant found out about when photos were posted on social media.

Earlier in the day, jurors heard an interview with Butcher by DC James Willcox following his arrest, where he said he was “petrified” of Mr Tarrant after being attacked by him in April 2017.

Butcher said: “I was at Faith nightclub fairly drunk when a glass smashed in my face. I looked up and Scott was laughing at me.

“Later that night I saw him outside his house so walked up with a piece of wood. I don’t know why I picked it up.

“I was about to confront the person that glassed me, but I wasn’t angry and didn’t intent to hurt him.

“He went into his house and came back with two kitchen knives, about 10-12 inches long. It was all coming back to hurt me.”

Butcher ran away but claims Mr Tarrant caught up with him and held the knives to his throat and eye, telling him to stay away from Miss Supple, before slicing his arm.

He said: “Scott had just held a couple of knives to me. I didn’t know what he was capable of doing.

“I didn’t want to be anywhere near him, so I only saw her when she left the house.”

The trial continues.

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