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Jury retires in Lowestoft love triangle murder trial

PUBLISHED: 14:16 29 January 2019 | UPDATED: 16:17 29 January 2019

Scott Tarrant. Photo courtesy of Suffolk Constabulary.

Scott Tarrant. Photo courtesy of Suffolk Constabulary.

Archant

Jurors have retired to discuss evidence heard over three weeks in the trial of Steven Butcher, who is charged with murdering his love rival Scott Tarrant after allegedly stabbing him nine times with "severe force."

Jurors have retired to discuss evidence heard over three weeks in the trial of Steven Butcher, who is charged with murdering his love rival Scott Tarrant after allegedly stabbing him nine times with “severe force.”

Earlier in the day, prosecutor Peter Gair rejected the claim a man accused of murder was “petrified” of his alleged victim.

Closing statements were read in the trial after the incident on Underwood Close on July 7.

Butcher previously admitted sleeping with the mother of Mr Tarrant’s child, and his then-girlfriend, Rebecca Supple, with the incident occuring outside her home.

Peter Gair, prosecuting, said: “Butcher says he was petrified of him, but he has sexual contact with Mr Tarrant’s girlfriend while they are all in the same house, and he continues to text her and takes the risk of going to Amsterdamn with her, even though Lowestoft is not the biggest place and it can be no surprise he found out.

“Butcher did not report the threats he alleges Mr Tarrant made to the police, so he could not have been that frightened.

“Going to her house that night was a risk he was willing to take because he was not petrified. He saw it as his opportunity to get his revenge.”

When giving evidence last week, Butcher admitted picking up a kitchen knife after Mr Tarrant pushed his motorbike over, before telling jurors he willingly handed it to Miss Supple.

Mr Gair said: “He said he saw the knife in the kitchen drawer when he picked one up the first time, so how did it get into Mr Tarrant’s hand outside if he didn’t take it?

“He went from telling a complete pack of lies to letting out a slip of truth.

“He could have phoned the police or waited for Mr Tarrant to leave, but he went to find him and if you put yourself in a situation where you have to defend yourself then it is not reasonable at all.

“Butcher has claimed the knife was in Mr Tarrant’s right hand throughout, but his arm was not broken, so it is physically impossible for him to be stabbed in his right arm.

“He was asked why he didn’t headbutt Mr Tarrant when he was holding his wrists to keep the knife away and he said he didn’t want to damage his £800 crash helmet.

“If the jurors do not accept that he acted in self-defence, then I would suggest that given the nature and severity of the wounds, that no one could have expected anything less than serious harm to be caused.

“He acted in a cold and calculated manner when he disposed of the knife.”

Earlier in the trial, Butcher told jurors he was “petrified” of Mr Tarrant after being glassed and held at knifepoint at Faith nightclub in Lowestoft in April 2017.

Andrew Thompson, defending, said: “Until July 7 last year, he had done nothing wrong towards Scott Tarrant. Nothing violent or aggressive before 11pm that night.

“12 minutes later the incident was over and the key parts of that were a matter of seconds.

“The suggestion that he had any idea he would cross paths with Mr Tarrant that night does not stand up to scrutiny.

“There is the suggestion he had a burning desire for revenge but this was 15 months after the incident at Faith, without anything occurring in a small town where people cannot avoid each other.”

Butcher had spent the day at Shish, in Lowestoft, watching the England vs Sweden game in the World Cup, with Mr Tarrant in another Lowestoft pub watching the game.

Mr Tarrant had arranged to meet Miss Supple following the match, but after failing to arrive, she texted him saying “I hate you,” and 40 seconds later texted Butcher inviting him to stay the night.

“It was not until 8pm that night that the path that would lead to Mr Tarrant’s tragic death was set. You can find points where if there had been a slight change the events would not have happened.

“He did not go out armed with a knife when he left his house that day.

“It was not an elaborate or sophisticated cover up to hide the knife.”

Judge David Goodin retired the jury at 3.43pm.

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