The sister of a man accused of slashing her partner’s throat told jurors he had hit her in the face when a Christmas Day party descended into fatal violence.

Adam Jenkins was recorded on his own CCTV walking towards Simon Birch and slicing at his neck with a kitchen knife after a row in his home.

The 39-year-old collapsed and died before emergency services to get to Jenkins’ home, Newcastle Crown Court heard.

In the minutes leading up to the fatal confrontation, Emma Jenkins told jurors that Mr Birch, who has a history of domestic violence, had hit her following a drunken row.

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And when she was interviewed by police almost a week later, she was sporting two black eyes and five stitches to a wound on her head.

She told officers that she could not remember how she suffered the injury to her head and accepted that plenty of guests had been drinking throughout the day.

The Northern Echo: Simon BirchSimon Birch

The court heard how she didn’t see the fatal clash between her brother and her partner of more than two years, but saw Natalie Shaw, Jenkins’ partner, with her hand to his neck trying to stem the flow of blood.

She said: “I looked past her and I could see the colour of him and I just walked away.

“My instinct should have been to run over (to her partner) and I just walked away."

Jeremy Dein KC, representing Mr Jenkins, read out dozens of messages sent between the Jenkins siblings and Mr Birch detailing their tempestuous relationship and the deceased’s erratic behaviour, especially when he was under the influence of Ketamine.

Jurors heard how Mr Birch had hit and abused Miss Jenkins in the run-up to Christmas after the pair had separated for a few months due to his domestic violence.

Earlier in the trial, jurors watched harrowing footage of the final confrontation between Jenkins and Mr Birch.

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Francis Fitzgibbon KC, prosecuting, said the footage shows the defendant as the aggressor and it was 'planned and premeditated' as the jury watched the moment his throat was slashed.

He added it was 'unjustified' as he didn't need to defend himself as there was no threat to him or anyone else from Mr Birch.

Jenkins, 36, of Sunderland Road, Newbottle, denies murdering 39-year-old Mr Birch on the evening of December 25, 2021. He also denies the charge of manslaughter.

The murder trial, which is expected to last three weeks, continues.