Tyne & Wear

Lee Irving killing: Defendant 'searched for haemorrhage advice'

Lee Irving
Image caption Lee Irving had learning difficulties

A woman on trial over the death of a man searched for information about brain haemorrhages in the hours before his body was found, a court has heard.

Lee Irving, 24, was found dead near a footpath in Fawdon, Newcastle, in 2015.

Two men are accused of murdering him at a house nearby, while two women are accused of causing or allowing his death. They all deny the charges.

One of the women, Nicole Lawrence, 22, must have known he had been injured, Newcastle Crown Court was told.

It is alleged Mr Irving, who had learning difficulties, had been sedated rather than taken for medical treatment by the defendants, who were all living at a house in Kenton Bar at the time of Mr Irving's death in June of last year.

The court heard how Mr Irving's body was found about half a mile from the house with 27 rib fractures and a broken nose and jaw.

The prosecution alleges that Miss Lawrence's boyfriend James Wheatley, 29, and Barry Imray, 35, beat Mr Irving over a 10-day period at the house. Mr Imray is said to have used a pushchair to move the body to where it was found.

Image copyright BBC news grab
Image caption Mr Irving was discovered lying near a path in Fawdon in Newcastle

The prosecution said an account given by Miss Lawrence to her sister after Mr Irving's death also proved she knew he had needed medical assistance.

Robert Smith QC, prosecuting, said: 'It's clear from her internet searches that she knew Lee Irving had suffered from a further life-threatening event which could only be another violent assault.

"She and the other defendants did nothing whatsoever to obtain help for him.

"Every one of them knew that he had been beaten, punched and kicked in that property, that he had been sedated with drugs and if he died there would be a police investigation into the conduct of all of them."

The court was also told the four defendants conspired to remove evidence by cleaning bloodstains from the house and hiding mobile phones.

The fourth defendant is Mr Wheatley's mother Julie Mills, 51, who is accused of causing or allowing Mr Irving's death, a charge also faced - and denied - by Mr Wheatley and Mr Imray.

Both women also deny perverting the course of justice, a charge admitted by both of the other two defendants.

The trial continues.

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