A jury has heard a man describe the moments his brother was savagely attacked and stabbed to death in a frenzied attack by a stranger who had suffered an epileptic fit.

Lee Santos was visiting his brother, Paul Walker, at his ground floor flat in John Street, Cullercoats, North Tyneside, on the afternoon of December 23, last year.

Newcastle Crown Court was told they left the flat at about 4.30pm intending to go to a nearby Co-op store to buy some food for an evening meal and some drinks.

Mr Walker said as he reached the external door at the end of the lobby way he heard a disturbance behind.

Read more: Cullercoats murder: Andrew Peacock appears at Newcastle Magistrates

He turned and looked back to see his ground floor neighbour, defendant Andrew Peacock, had “pounced” out of his door and jumped onto his brother, Mr Santos.

Mr Walker said Mr Peacock had a knife which he saw him use to stab his brother twice in the side.

He said his brother was by now on the floor, under the defendant, trying to get hold of the knife to prevent further use, but Mr Peacock was trying to push it into Mr Santos’s face.

Mr Walker grabbed Mr Peacock’s arm but was unable to pull it back, so he got out his phone to raise the alarm.

But he said he was so frightened and confused he was unable to do so.

Mr Walker said Mr Peacock was saying: “You have been sitting in my house”, which was not true.

The court had heard from prosecutor Toby Hedworth KC, that Mr Santos did not even know Mr Peacock.

Mr Walker said when he had tried to pull Mr Peacock off his brother he described his eyes as being: “Proper crazy”.

Read more: Man charged with Cullercoats murder to appear in court on Boxing Day

Two passing neighbours, who could see what was taking place through the frosted glass next to the external door, told Mr Walker they had rung the emergency services.

But Mr Peacock was still stabbing Mr Santos and when Mr Walker went back into the lobby his brother was lying on the floor, fatally injured.

Mr Peacock then sat on the floor with the knife still in his hand and said he had just had a seizure and was unwell.

The police soon arrived and tried to give medical attention to Mr Santos, quickly joined by paramedics.

Mr Peacock was, by then, making a call to his own partner to tell her he thought he had stabbed someone, adding: “There’s a body lying next to us. I don’t know what’s happened.

“I think I’ve had a seizure.”

In his opening of the case, Mr Hedworth said despite prompt actions of the emergency services there was nothing they could do to save the 45-year-old victim, of Wallsend, who was declared dead at the scene.

Mr Peacock was arrested and his response was to say that he did not know what had happened, and he kept asking the police what was going on.

Mr Hedworth said the passing neighbours were able to tell the officers that they saw Mr Peacock attacking Mr Santos, “with repeated and frenzied” blows with the knife.

A post-mortem by Home Office pathologist, Dr Louise Mulcahy, confirmed Mr Santos had 32 stab wounds to the torso and 18 to the neck with a total of 59 "uses of the knife".

His death was caused by haemorrhage as a result of stab wounds to the chest and back penetrating the chest cavity and damaging the lungs, causing an immediate loss of blood, ultimately leading to cardiac arrest.

Mr Hedworth said the defendant admits causing the death of Mr Santos as a result of “deliberate actions”, as there was “no lawful excuse”, but he told the jury it was, “an extremely unusual case”

He said: “The defendant has been examined by highly experienced and eminent medical specialists for both the prosecution and defence.

“They are in agreement, because of the epileptic seizure Mr Peacock must have suffered that day and the history of frequent fits, causing post-ictal amnesia and delusions.

“Accordingly, the doctors concluded he was unaware of his actions in the killing of Lee Santos.”

Mr Hedworth said the issue the jury would have to decide was whether, on the balance of probability, he did not know the nature of the “quality” of the attack he was doing.

He said both prosecution and defence agree he was in an “autonomous state” and, "lacked the required intention to commit the offence of murder.”

Mr Hedworth told the jury: "Unusually, the issue will be for you to decide if he was not guilty of murder by way of insanity."

He said: "That would be due to the consequences of an epileptic fit or fits that caused him, at the time, not to understand the nature or quality of the acts he was doing.

"If that's likely to be the case, he's entitled, by law, to a verdict of not guilty of murder by way of insanity.

"After careful analysis by psychologists and neurologists that would be the appropriate verdict for you to return.

"In the court, such decisions can't be made by doctors, lawyers or judges.

"They must be made by you, a jury selected at random."

Judge Penny Moreland also told the jury, at the outset of the hearing, that the defendant does not deny killing Mr Santos, but claims he should be found not guilty of murder by way of insanity.

The judge told the jury: "The view of the prosecution and defence is that he's entitled to be found not guilty by reason of insanity.

"But the law does not permit the defence and prosecution to agree that. But, a jury must return that verdict."

Read next:

Cullercoats murder: Provisional trial date set for alleged killer

Report will assess fitness to plead of Cullercoats murder accused

Tribute to Lee Santos, from Killingworth, who died in Cullercoats

Our latest digital subscription offers ends today (June 28). £3 for 3 months or 40% off.

For details, click here

The 44-year-old defendant, of John Street, Cullercoats, has pleaded not guilty to the charge of murder.

Members of the jury will retire to consider its verdict after hearing tomorrow (Thursday June 29) from psychiatrists for the respective sides, who the court was told are both in agreement in their conclusions as to Mr Peacock's state of mind.