A 43-year-old man accused of murder has told a court that he was “petrified” after the victim turned up at his home at night and started banging on windows with a baseball bat.

Jay Cotterill had just got out of the shower when he heard loud banging coming from outside his bungalow in Sutton Heath, near Woodbridge, and could hear his partner, who was in bed, panicking.

Giving evidence at Ipswich Crown Court on Friday, Cotterill said that when he looked out of the bedroom window he saw his former partner Stephanie Harvey kicking the front door and then saw her former partner Richard Hunt hitting windows with a baseball bat.

He then heard a loud crash, which was caused by Ipswich man Mr Hunt throwing a child’s scooter on to the roof, and after putting on a pair of jeans he had gone outside while his partner Debbie Cotterill-Williams called the police.

On his way out of the back door he picked up a kitchen knife. "I was panicking. I was petrified. I was thinking I would scare him off with the knife,” he said.

“I knew what Richard Hunt was capable of. If he’s got a baseball bat the first thing he is going to do is use me as a baseball,” said Cotterill.

He said that earlier in the day he’d had an exchange of texts with Mr Hunt in which Mr Hunt had threatened to shoot him and he feared that was what he was going to do.

“I thought he was going to kill me,” he said.

Cotterill, who has denied murdering Mr Hunt in October last year, claimed Mr Hunt had hit him twice over the head with the baseball bat and had then taken his head in his hands and bit his nose.

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

He said it was at this stage he had stabbed Mr Hunt to “stop him biting his nose off”.

Cotterill said that during the struggle that followed Ms Harvey had hit him with the baseball bat and he had stabbed Mr Hunt, although he wasn’t sure how many times.

He claimed that Mr Hunt had tried to grab the knife out of his hand and Ms Harvey had jumped on his back causing him to go forward resulting in the knife stabbing Mr Hunt in the heart.

Cotterill accepted that during the incident he had hit Ms Harvey in the face after she bit him.

In addition to denying murdering Mr Hunt, Cotterill of Ipswich Avenue, Sutton Heath, has denied an alternative charge of manslaughter and assaulting Ms Harvey causing her actual bodily harm.

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 bungalow and she also saw him throw a scooter on to a roof.

Ms Harvey said Cotterill had come out and there had been a fight between the two men during which Mr Hunt was stabbed seven times.

The trial continues on Monday.