A JURY has retired to consider its verdict in the trial of Nathan Davis.

Mr Davis, 26, is accused of the murder of 47-year-old Craig Barker, who was struck to the neck with an axe in his home on Cleatlam Close in Hardwick, Stockton, Teesside, last July.

Mr Barker died from his injuries two days after the incident. The family dog was also killed after being attacked with an axe.

During his week long trial at Teesside Crown Court, a jury heard Mr Davis, armed with axes, went into the property to find a man he believed had attacked his girlfriend in the hours before.

He went up the stairs and started attacking the dog, which he claimed was trying to bite him.

The prosecution alleged Mr Barker was defending himself with a mop when Mr Davis struck him with the axe.

Mr Davis, of Wylam Road in Stockton, accepts he entered the property with an axe and attacked the dog, but claims he had no intention of hurting, let alone killing, Mr Barker.

He claims Mr Barker was struck when he bent down to pick up the dog and it "wasn't intentional".

Others who were in the house at the time of the incident, including children, claimed Mr Davis then shouted to others "do yous want to be f***g next?" - something he denies.

Mr Davis then fled the house. He was arrested in Darlington a few days later.

As well as being charged with murder, he is facing two charges of carrying offensive weapons. He denies all the charges.

The jury retired at midday to consider their verdict.