A ex-prisoner accused of murdering his partner has claimed he accidentally stabbed her in the eye in a row over a sweet and sour dinner, a jury has heard..
Mum-of-two Michaela Hall, 49, was killed by Lee Kendall, 42, at her home in a small Cornish village, a trial was told. He denies murder.
The former Virgin Airways senior air stewardess had met Kendall when she worked as his support worker for a charity which helps prisoners when they are freed from custody.
Truro Crown Court heard she began an intimate sexual relationship before he moved into her home in Mount Hawke, Cornwall.
And after rowing over a dinner that 'he didn't want.' Ms Hall was stabbed to death in her eye in the bedroom on May 31 last year, the court heard.
Claiming it was not intentional, he told the court he and Michaela had been arguing over the sweet and sour food that she had prepared for both of them and she got upset with him when he told her he didn't want to eat it.
After the row was said to have escalated when he put the food on the floor, Kendall claims she took out a cutlery knife that was in an upstairs bedroom for DIY and began pointing it at her chest.
The defendant said he took the knife off her by grabbing hold of the blade with his left hand while she held onto him, but inadvertently ended up stabbing her in the eye during the struggle.
He said: "As we were struggling my hand is jerked away from her at the same time she is coming towards me and it ended up going in her eye."
He claimed that after it had gone her eye, Michaela was still standing in front of him and he removed the knife and asked if she was OK.
Asked why he didn't call the ambulance he said it was because he thought she'd "be fine", and claims he put it back in the cutlery drawer "with the rest of them".
He then went out and carried on drinking.
Giving evidence, Ms Hall’s friend Clair Basnett also told how just before her death she heard screams like "something out of a horror movie" over the phone during the attack.
She said she decided to call the emergency services right away but dialled 999 despite being in Spain and got through to Spanish police.
Ms Basnett eventually got through to Crimestoppers and asked them to place the 999 call for her. She tried to phone Michaela the following morning but got no reply so she left a message on Facebook asking if she was OK but she never heard back.
She also said she told her several days prior to the attack that she needed to send her friend photographs of injuries he had inflicted to her neck in the past few days "in case anything happened to her."
Her body was found after Michaela's father became so concerned about not hearing from her that he and her mother got into the house using the landlord's keys and found Michaela lying on the bed, there was blood on the pillow and the body was cold.
The trial continues.
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