A MAN’S dying words to the mother of his children were: “I love you” – moments after his brother stabbed him in the heart, a court heard.

Vincent Bell, 36, is accused of stabbing Damian Banks with a six inch kitchen knife at his home in Durham after allegedly shouting he wished his younger brother was dead.

He is said to have taken cocaine for two days straight and had no sleep before an argument over cash and drugs escalated into a “sustained attack’ in the early hours of March 30 this year.

Teesside Crown Court heard Mr Banks's last words before dying from three stab wounds were “I love you”, said to his ex girlfriend, Kayleigh Sanders, who also claimed the 34-year-old had previously assaulted her and was known for his severe drug addiction.

Bell, of Turnbull Close, Durham, denies a single charge of murder.

In a video police interview shown to the jury, the woman who was with the brothers the night of Mr Banks's death described the pair arguing and Mr Banks striking the first blow.

She said: “I heard screaming and shouting, I knew it was Vincent having a go at him, he was really angry. Vincent was shouting ‘where’s my f***ing money, where’s my f***ing stuff?’

“Damian had Vincent on the ground, he was standing on him and we were trying to pull him off. Damian struck the first blow with the crutch. They were both effing and blinding. Vincent said ‘I wish you were dead, you are poison'.

“Vincent was on the come down from the cocaine, he was on it since Thursday. He had no sleep and had been drinking.

“He walked into the kitchen, I heard Vincent opening the drawer, he pulled it back hard. He came out with a kitchen knife. It was six inches with a black handle.

“Vincent pulled it out and Damian said ‘Are you going to stab me? Don’t be stupid.’ Then all I heard was Damian shouting ‘he stabbed me’ and he fell on the floor. He had a wound in his chest and he started breathing funny.

“There was blood everywhere. I had blood on my hands, I still have blood on my hands, I was holding his head. His T-shirt was saturated with blood. He said ‘I love you’.”

Bell was said to have been bleeding from the head after his brother struck him and fled the scene to his mother’s where he allegedly admitted to killing Mr Banks.

The court heard the woman was in a relationship with Mr Banks for seven years and they had two children together but the pair temporarily separated after Mr Banks assaulted her in 2011.

During the police interview she said: “The relationship wasn’t good. He took heroine and crack cocaine. One night he broke my nose and stamped on my face. I went to the police but dropped the charges.”

She added they rekindled their relationship after Mr Banks came out of prison and moved to Durham from Walsall in the West Midlands, but his behaviour declined once more due to his cocaine addiction.

Giving evidence, PC Daniel Lowes, who was first at the scene, said he was flagged down by the brothers’ mother who said: “My son is in there, I think he’s dead, I can’t go in.”

The court heard a woman was holding a bank card to Mr Banks's chest to try to stop the bleeding wound and told police Mr Banks's brother had killed him.

Bell denies taking cocaine or being drunk that night and claimed he grabbed the kitchen knife to protect himself against his brother who had struck him across the head with a leg crutch, causing it to bleed.

The trial continues.