Surrey

Lee Pomeroy death: Accused 'stabbed man over train aisle row'

Court sketch of Darren Pencille (L) and Chelsea Mitchell in the dock at the Old Bailey Image copyright Julia Quenzler
Image caption Darren Pencille, left, and Chelsea Mitchell are on trial at the Old Bailey

A man was stabbed 18 times on a train in front of his 14-year-old son after a "heated argument" over blocking the aisle, the Old Bailey has heard.

Darren Pencille denies murdering Lee Pomeroy, 51, on a Guildford to London service on 4 January.

The defendant's girlfriend, Chelsea Mitchell, is also on trial and denies assisting an offender.

Opening the case, prosecutor Jacob Hallam QC said Mr Pomeroy was killed the day before his birthday.

He said the victim and his son boarded the train at London Road Station at 13:01 GMT and within five minutes, he had been stabbed by Mr Pencille, 36.

'Ignorance is bliss'

"That wound to the neck was the first of 18 wounds with a knife that Mr Pencille inflicted on Mr Pomeroy that day," he told jurors.

"A little over an hour after he boarded the train, and despite the best efforts of the emergency services who rushed to save his life, Lee Pomeroy was dead."

Image copyright Family Handout
Image caption Lee Pomeroy was stabbed to death on a Guildford to London train

The prosecutor told jurors the events surrounding the killing were captured on CCTV and witnessed by other passengers.

Mr Pomeroy and his son had boarded the same carriage as Mr Pencille and made their way down the aisle, the court heard.

Mr Hallam suggested they may have been "blocking" Mr Pencille's way and the defendant had said: "Ignorance is bliss."

"That prompted Lee Pomeroy to respond and ask what it was he meant. An argument began between them. It was an argument that became heated and became heated pretty quickly."

'Hearing voices'

The court heard that passenger Megan Fieberg witnessed Mr Pencille insult the deceased and shout: "You touch me, you touch me and you see what happens at the next stop."

The jury heard that Mr Pomeroy responded: "You shouldn't have humiliated me in front of my kid."

The prosecutor told the court that another witness recalled Mr Pencille saying "leave me alone, you're racist" and "I'm not scared of you".

However, Mr Hallam told the jury that another passenger, Kayleigh Carter, said that she had not heard Mr Pomeroy make a racist remark.

He said: "Her impression was that both men appeared to be taunting one another."

Image caption Darren Pencille denies murder

The prosecutor told jurors Ms Carter recalled Mr Pomeroy stating that he had "never dealt with someone with special needs before," to which Mr Pencille allegedly responded: "I'm hearing voices right now."

She then saw Mr Pencille appear to make a phone call and "the words she recalled [hearing] were 'I'm going to kill this man'," Mr Hallam said.

Records showed he had called Miss Mitchell, the court heard.

Mr Hallam said Ms Carter saw the defendant take a knife from his pocket and strike the first blow. He then described how Mr Pomeroy tried to defend himself but Mr Pencille kept stabbing him "again and again and again".

"It was a blow that cut through his jugular vein and carotid artery which are the vessels that take blood to the brain," he said.

Image caption Chelsea Mitchell denies assisting an offender

The prosecutor said after the attack, Mr Pencille was picked up by 27-year-old Miss Mitchell, of Wilbury Road, Farnham.

He told the jury: "She collected him and together they drove to the flat where she lived in Farnham, Surrey, then drove to the south coast.

"Mr Pencille cleaned himself up and changed his appearance. The two of them also engaged in research on the internet about what it was Mr Pencille had done."

The court heard Mr Pencille later called his mother and said: "Something's happened, I've done something bad". He then called his ex-partner and told her the same and that she would see it on the news.

Mr Pencille, of no fixed address, has admitted possessing a bladed article, the court heard.

The trial continues.

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