A court heard the moment a man was told he was being arrested on suspicion of murder of his sister’s allegedly abusive partner late on Christmas Day.

Adam Jenkins was at first arrested on suspicion of assaulting Simon Birch, following a confrontation outside the defendant’s home, in Newbottle, near Houghton-le-Spring, in which he allegedly stabbed the victim in the neck with a kitchen knife.

Newcastle Crown Court was told that Mr Jenkins and his partner Natalie Shaw tried to stem the blood flow and carried out attempts at CPR, being given directions by an ambulance service call handler, as paramedics were on route to the property.

But after ambulance personnel took over the attempts to save Mr Birch, on arrival, Mr Jenkins was arrested on suspicion of assault, at 11.37pm on Christmas Day, 2021, and was placed in the rear of a police van.

Read more: Simon Birch trial: Murder accused's sister abused by victim, jury told

The court heard he responded to his arrest by saying: “Why assault?”

Asked in his police interview, the following day, why he asked that, he said: “I don’t know if I committed an assault because I was drunk.

“I was in a state of shock, to be honest. It’s horrible.”

By 12.24am on Boxing Day morning, on arrival at a police station, he was told he was now being arrested on suspicion of murder, following confirmation of Mr Birch’s death.

The court heard Mr Jenkins responded: “Murder, murder, no way. He’s dead. No Way.”

When he was asked by police in that first interview, later on Boxing Day, 2021, if he murdered Mr Birch, Mr Jenkins replied: “No, I didn’t.”

He was asked if he agreed he had assaulted Mr Birch, he replied: “Not that I can remember. Definitely not.

“It felt like the other way around.”

Asked about earlier in the evening, Mr Jenkins said after all drinking together he went to bed, but he was awoken to be told Mr Birch and his partner, Emma, Mr Jenkin’s sister, were “fighting”.

He said he went downstairs to the sitting room, where he saw Mr Birch punching his sister.

Mr Jenkins said his own partner, Natalie Shaw, tried to intervene, but was grabbed my Mr Birch and added that the next thing he recalled was Mr Birch being on top of him.

“I don’t know what happened. He must have been, like, laying into us.”

Read more: Simon Birch death: Adam Jenkins' partner 'scared' of alleged victim

He said they were, “somehow split up”, but the next thing he recalled was Mr Birch coming at him outside the front door.

Mr Jenkins told police: “The next thing I remember is Natalie coming to me screaming and saying: ‘Give us some help’.”

He said as Mr Birch lay bleeding heavily he took his top off to try to help stem the flow, and he kept helping his partner to give first aid.

The prosecution claims that after the incident in the sitting room, Mr Jenkins armed himself with three knives from the kitchen and went out to confront the unarmed Mr Birch, slashing him with one of the blades, before retreating into the house.

Earlier, giving evidence, the defendant’s step-father, Darren Naisbitt, described the deceased, Mr Birch, acting, “like an ar**hole” as the drunken festivities reached the evening stage.

Mr Naisbett said the Christmas Day celebrations had gone well up to that stage, but there came a point where there was a dispute with Mr Birch, in the bar area.

In his police interview, given the following afternoon, he said Mr Birch was, “coming on the ‘big I am’, as he did in drink.”

Mr Naisbett told police: “I remember having words with ‘Birchy’, being an ar**hole, being the ‘big man’.”

In his court evidence, Mr Naisbett said he had seen him acting like that previously when he had a few drinks.

“He was just, like, being the ‘big man’, and I was just saying: ‘Just sit down, you are being an ar**hole, spoiling the day.

“I was thinking about everybody else and him spoiling the day for everybody.”

Mr Naisbett said it came to a halt when the defendant’s partner, Natalie Shaw said: “Come on, that’s enough.”

But Mr Naisbett added that Mr Birch seemed to be in, “a funny mood, bickering with Emma (his partner) all day.”

Mr Naisbett said the dispute with Mr Birch came, “out of the blue” as he had done nothing at all to provoke his behaviour.

He said he later came downstairs and saw Emma covered in blood in the kitchen and he gave her a cuddle.

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Mr Naisbett said when he went outside he saw Mr Birch being worked on by the paramedics at the scene, near to where people’s cars were parked.

Thirty-six-year-old Mr Jenkins, of Sunderland Road, Newbottle, denied both the murder and manslaughter of 39-year-old Mr Birch.

The trial continues