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Joe Storey, the man accused of Kerri McAuley's murder, called friend in hysterical state to say she was 'hurt', court hears

PUBLISHED: 14:28 12 June 2017 | UPDATED: 14:53 14 June 2017

Kerri McAuley. Photo: Norfolk Police

Kerri McAuley. Photo: Norfolk Police

Norfolk Police

A man accused of the murder of his partner Kerri McAuley called a friend in a hysterical state to say that she was "hurt", a court has heard.

Joe Storey. Picture: FacebookJoe Storey. Picture: Facebook

The body of Ms McAuley, 32, was found at Southalls Wayon Sunday, January 8.

Norwich Crown Court heard she suffered 19 separate injuries to her face, including fractured eye sockets, cheek bones and jaw following a sustained attack.

Her on-off partner Joe Storey, 27, formerly of Murrells Court, Norwich, is on trial for her murder, which he has denied, although he has admitted manslaughter.

Giving evidence today Kristina Brighten, a friend of Storey’s who he sometimes stayed with, said she was contacted by him at about 5am on Sunday, January 8.

She had received a number of missed calls from Storey and a what’s app message which had said “help” and “I need you mate”.

She told Simon Spence QC, prosecuting, that when she answered his call he said that he needed her because “I’m hurt or she’s hurt”.

Ms Brighten said she told him to ring an ambulance and described how she thought she heard Ms McAuley in the background.

She said she either said “no” or Joe” but could not make it out.

She said Storey then told her that Ms McAuley was “drunk”.

The court heard Storey had been crying and was hysterical when he spoke to Ms Brighten who went back to sleep but awoke to find she had about 16 missed calls from Storey.

She called him back and he asked to come over.

He came over at about 8am but was “erratic”, “drunk” and had half a bottle of wine which he went onto drink.

Ms Brighten said his T-shirt had “a lot of blood on it” but he said he had “been in a fight with some boys”.

Ms Brighten said Storey, who had a cut on his right hand, carried on drinking and had prosecco after finishing the wine.

She said he had taken cocaine at her flat before he asked to take him to Ms McAuley’s flat.

She said they went between 10am and 11am and had waited in the car while Storey had gone into the flat.

She said he returned about five minutes later but said Ms McAuley was not there.

The court heard Ms McAuley’s body was discovered late on Sunday night by her brother and mother who had gone round after her former partner had been unable to contact Ms McAuley to drop off their two children.

The jury also heard from Ms Brighten that Storey had told her that he had assaulted Ms McAuley in December last year.

She said Ms McAuley had posted a message on Facebook following the incident in which she suffered a black eye.

Ms Brighten said Storey had told her they had “had a disagreement and he lost his temper”.

She said he told her that they argued when they were drunk and recalled another occasion when, while on a trip abroad, Ms McAuley had come home early after they had an argument about an iPhone.

Earlier the court heard from a barmaid at the Blueberry pub in Norwich who had been working on January 8 when Ms McAuley and Storey came in at about 1am.

She said Storey, who was served about three double Jack Daniels and cokes, did not seem to be drunk but had been “all over the shop”.

She said he had ridden a bike round the bar area, smashed a framed Audrey Hepburn picture on the bar and had got “narky” after another man had tried to walk in Ms McAuley’s shoes across the bar.

She said: “He was getting narky because he’d paid a lot of money for them and didn’t want them getting stretched out.”

The barmaid said Storey had also lifted up Ms McAuley and twirled her around a couple of times which she had not wanted.

The barmaid said she checked with Ms McAuley that she was alright before they left the pub at about 4.30am.

The trial continues.

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