A MOTHER shouted "I love you" to a man accused of stabbing the father of her children to death during his murder trial, a court heard.

Vincent Bell, 36, denies murdering his brother Damian Banks, 34, in a cocaine and alcohol fuelled attack at his home in Durham earlier this year.

He claimed he grabbed the six inch kitchen knife to protect himself after his brother attacked him during a row over drugs but maintains he stabbed him by accident.

Teesside Crown Court heard Bell, originally from Walsall in the west Midlands, was “devastated” and felt suicidal once he realise the blade plunged into his younger brother’s chest.

But he dismissed the outburst of forgiveness made by Mr Banks’s ex girlfriend and witness to his death, Kayleigh Sanders, who shouted "I forgive you, I love you Vince" while giving evidence in court via a video link last week.

Giving evidence, Bell branded Ms Sanders “an actress” and said she was being sarcastic, adding the reason he fled to his mother’s house after the accident was because he didn’t trust her to call an ambulance.

He said: “The knife just went in. I had the knife in my hand, there was pressure on the knife, he went backwards and went down. I think it was just the once. I didn’t know it had gone into him until afterwards. It wasn’t until he was lying on his back and there was blood coming from his chest I realised what the pressure was.

“He was lying there with his eyes open and blood coming out of his chest, I didn’t want to see it. I thought he was dead. It was like how you see in films, he looked like he was dead.

“I went to my mum’s to get help. I was in a state of panic and shock. I was devastated and suicidal.”

When asked what his reaction was to Kayleigh’s declaration of forgiveness, he added: “I didn’t trust Kayleigh to get help, I wouldn’t trust her with anything. She is an actress, she was being sarcastic.”

Bell, who has a history of anxiety and depression, claims he sat on the sofa holding the knife and it accidentally plunged into his brother’s chest when he stretched his arms above his head in self defence during a fight.

But delivering his closing speech, Jamie Hill QC, said Bell had “dragged his brother’s name through the mud” to cover up the fact he deliberately armed himself and stabbed Mr Banks three times, once through the heart.

He said: “No matter how much Vincent Bell regrets the death of his brother, we say he deliberately armed himself with a knife. He stabbed his brother at least three times. He didn’t need to do that, he didn’t need to arm himself and this wasn’t an accident.

“We know Damian Banks had beaten Kayleigh Sanders and Vincent and Kayleigh said it wasn’t the first time Vincent started a fight. He has dragged his brother’s name through the mud, perhaps to paint himself in a better light.

“He has suggested his brother impaled himself on the knife. Damian had a broken leg at the time, maybe that is why Vincent went on the attack, because for once he had the upper hand.”

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

The trial continues.