An Ipswich man died after being stabbed seven times with a kitchen knife in the garden of a Suffolk home during a “massive fight” with a man who’d been in a relationship with his former partner, a court has heard.

Thirty-seven-year-old Richard Hunt was armed with a baseball bat when he went with his former partner Stephanie Harvey to a house in Ipswich Avenue in Sutton Heath where Jay Cotterill was living with his partner Debbie Williams, Ipswich Crown Court was told.

During the hours before the visit on October 8 last year there had been an exchange of threatening texts and phone calls between the two men after Ms Williams found text messages on Cotterill’s phone between him and Ms Harvey, who’d split up shortly before, said Andrew Jackson, prosecuting.

Ms Harvey decided to make it clear to Ms Williams that she and Cotterill were over and bought a 'good luck’ card to wish her well in her relationship with Cotterill.

She and Mr Hunt, who she’d been in a 10-year relationship before they split up last year and she started seeing Cotterill, had driven to Sutton Heath to deliver the card.

When they arrived at Ms William’s house, Mr Hunt had started banging on the doors and windows with the baseball bat he’d brought with him.

Cotterill, who’d been in the shower, went outside and was allegedly hit over the head with the bat by Mr Hunt.

During what was described by a witness as a “massive fight”, Cotterill had allegedly hit Mr Hunt and Ms Harvey with the bat before suffering an injury to his nose which bled.

Cotterill had then allegedly gone back into the house and picked up a large kitchen knife, which he used to repeatedly stab Mr Hunt.

Mr Jackson said Ms Harvey had tried to grab the knife from Cotterill and suffered a cut to her hand.

Cotterill later told police he’d stabbed Mr Hunt in self-defence after Mr Hunt hit him over the head with the baseball bat and bit his nose.

“The prosecution case is that this is murder and not a killing done in self-defence. It was done in sheer anger and as an act of revenge,” said Mr Jackson.

East Anglian Daily Times: The scene in Sutton HeathThe scene in Sutton Heath (Image: Newsquest)

Cotterill, 43, of Ipswich Avenue, Sutton Heath, has denied murdering Mr Hunt and an alternative charge of manslaughter.

He has also denied assaulting Ms Harvey causing her actual bodily harm.

The court heard that Mr Hunt suffered seven stab wounds, mainly to his chest and neck, including two that were individually fatal.

One of them penetrated 13cm into his chest and damaged part of his lung and the main pumping chamber of his heart.

The handle of the knife caused bruising to Mr Hunt’s chest where he was literally “stabbed to the hilt”, said Mr Jackson.

Mr Hunt had also suffered a stab wound to his right arm and cuts to both his hands which indicated he’d tried to defend himself, he added.

The trial continues.