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Murder trial hears victim of stabbing in Shepway, near Maidstone, identified his killer in the moments before he died, it is alleged

A dad-of-three who had been stabbed through the heart named his killer in his dying moments, it has been alleged.

Jamie Simmons died despite the efforts of his partner - who had tried to shield him - and paramedics, who desperately tried to save his life.

Jamie Simmons had an 11-week-old daughter at the time of his death
Jamie Simmons had an 11-week-old daughter at the time of his death

A jury heard how "as he weakened through blood loss and sadly with only about 15 minutes to live", identified his attacker, saying: "Kieron stabbed me. Why would he do that? Why would he do that?"

Now Kieron Nicholson, 29, of Vicarage Lane, East Farleigh, is on trial accused of murdering Mr Simmons, who had turned 29 a week before the incident.

He denies the charge.

A pathologist is expected to tell the four-week trial that "severe force" had been used to plunge the knife into his heart which was "equivalent to a firm punch".

Maidstone Crown Court heard how an argument began on May 4 this year at a block of flats in Wells House, Cambridge Crescent in Shepway, near Maidstone.

A cordon was put in place the morning after the attack
A cordon was put in place the morning after the attack

Prosecutor Ahmed Hossain QC told how Mr Simmons had clashed with a friend of Nicholson, Jack McCann, over a remark made to his partner Charlotte Muddiman.

Mr McCann told Mr Simmons to take care of his children while he "sorted out" Ms Muddiman.

At the time, Mr Simmons and Ms Muddiman were living together in a flat at Truro House.

The prosecutor said: "During a discussion, Mr Simmons said he had to go and sort out his children and it was then that Mr McCann made an ill-judged comment, to the effect of saying 'You go and sort your kids out and I'll sort your missus out!'

"That caused offence to both Mr Simmons and Ms Muddiman. Jack McCann tried to say he was only messing about but it caused a confrontation."

Police at the scene in Cambridge Crescent
Police at the scene in Cambridge Crescent

That led to Mr Simmons punching Mr McCann in the face and then head-butting him causing his nose to split and bleed heavily, the jury was told.

"At this point the confrontation had nothing to do with Nicholson," said Mr Hossain. "Mr McCann then went into the flat of Tara Cooper to get something.

"Ms Muddiman saw this and pushed him up against a wall and it was at this point Nicholson came into the kitchen and grabbed a knife and started stabbing at Jamie Simmons.

"Tara Cooper was heard to shout 'Get the **** out of my flat'," he added.

Nicholson is then alleged to have grabbed the steak knife before shouting: "Get the **** out or I will stab you!" As Ms Muddiman tried to shield her lover, she received two superficial cuts to her arm.

A forensics team in Maidstone
A forensics team in Maidstone

She later told police that Nicholsonhad been holding the knife in his right hand and "making jabbing motions" towards Nicholson.

Mr Hossain said she tried to usher her lover out of the flat before noticing a red stain on his left chest and "realised he had been stabbed twice".

The prosecutor said another neighbour, alerted by the noise of the argument, then began recording the incident.

He told the jury: "You will hear Jamie Simmons in his dying moments, saying: 'Kieran, Kieran you mother of ***** why have you got to get involved?'"

Others also heard the threats which the prosecution say showed that Nicholson had had "enough of his friend Jack McCann being beaten up and on the receiving end" and had stormed into the kitchen to "put an end to the altercation".

Nicholson is alleged to have then fled through a window only to be stopped by a neighbour and detained until police arrived.

The jury was due to travel to Shepway today to look at the scene.

Because of Covid restrictions they were urged by the judge to wear masks, gloves and carry hand sanitisers.

The jury was told that during their visit they would see a small shrine of flowers.

But Judge Philip Statman told them that "while that is perfectly understandable" they should not be influenced by the tribute.

He said they had to approach the evidence "witha clear and compassionate view" and "without fear or favour one way or the other".

The jurors, together with court staff, police officers, lawyers and the judge were taken to Shepway for the viewing.

The hearing continues.

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