The jury has retired to consider its verdict in the trial of a 43-year-old man accused of murder.

Before Ipswich Crown Court is Jay Cotterill, who has denied murdering 37-year-old Ipswich man Richard Hunt in the garden of a bungalow at Sutton Heath, near Woodbridge, in October last year.

He has also denied an alternative charge of manslaughter and assaulting Mr Hunt’s former partner Stephanie Harvey, causing her actual bodily harm.

Judge Martyn Levett summarised the case on Wednesday and then sent the jury into retirement.

During the three-week trial, the court has heard that on the night of the alleged murder Mr Hunt and Ms Harvey had driven to the bungalow in Sutton Heath where Cotterill lived with his partner Debbie Cotterill-Williams.

Prior to the visit there had been an exchange of threatening texts and phone calls between Mr Hunt and Cotterill after Ms Cotterill-Williams found text messages on Cotterill’s phone between him and Ms Harvey.

Ms Harvey had decided to deliver a card wishing Ms Cotterill-Williams luck in her relationship with Cotterill and was driven to Sutton Heath by Mr Hunt, who she’d been in a 13-year relationship before they split up seven years ago.

Giving evidence, she said that after she left the card at the front door Mr Hunt had used a baseball bat that had been in the back of the car to bang on windows of the property and she also saw him throw a scooter on to a roof.

Giving evidence Cotterill, who is accused of stabbing Mr Hunt seven times, said that earlier in the day Mr Hunt had threatened to shoot him and he had taken that threat seriously.

He claimed that Mr Hunt, who lived in Ipswich, had hit him over the head with the baseball  bat and had then taken his head in his hands and bit his nose.

The defendant said he was “petrified” during the confrontation and said a fatal stab wound to Mr Hunt’s chest happened when Mr Hunt’s former partner Stephanie Harvey jumped on his (Cotterill’s) back, “propelling” him forward causing the knife to enter Mr Hunt’s chest.

However, the prosecution has suggested he has changed his account to fit the evidence.