A murder trial jury has heard a woman speaking of the moments when her partner was sprayed in the face with ammonia by a caller at their home, late on a Sunday night, last August.

Katie Harrison was in bed upstairs at the address in Eighton Terrace, Wrekenton, Gateshead, when she heard her partner, Andy Foster, answering a knock on their front door, shortly after 11pm on August 20.

Newcastle Crown Court was played an interview given by Ms Harrison to police days after the ultimately fatal attack on her partner.

She said that Mr Foster, a drug dealer, often answered the door to callers seeking to buy some “weed” or cannabis edibles that he made.

The Northern Echo: Andy Foster, 26, who died from the effects of an ammonia attack on the doorstep of his home in

Ms Harrison said there was nothing untoward about the knock, and Mr Foster would have to go to open the door, which he always kept locked.

She said she heard Mr Foster saying, “All right mate”, to whoever was at the door, so she assumed that he must have recognised who was there.

There followed a short discussion, which she could not hear, but she said there were no raised voices, so she assumed it was a “normal conversation” and that the caller had come for "a deal".

She then told police, “all of a sudden I heard Andy screaming”, and her partner, who suffered with asthma, told her it was ammonia and he couldn’t breathe, urging her to ring for an ambulance.

Ms Harrison said his eyes “swelled up” and a strong chemical smell just hit her.

She said Mr Foster went outside to try to breathe better and she went out to perform CPR on him, which the court heard she was advised to do by the ambulance call handler, as well as to rinse his face in cold water.

On arrival, the paramedics took over the CPR and treatment of Mr Foster, who was taken to hospital, where his death was confirmed shortly after 10pm the following night.

The court has heard that a pathologist concluded the ammonia triggered the asthma attack, causing a cardiac arrest and brain injury, leading to Mr Foster’s death.

The Northern Echo: Pair accused of the murder of ammonia attack victim Andy Foster on doorstep of his Gateshead home,

Prosecutor Mark McKone has told the court the Wrekenton attack, late on August 20, was the fourth such incident in 11 days in which ammonia was used at addresses in South Shields, Jarrow and Hebburn, in what he claimed was the “taxing” of drug dealers.

He said it is the prosecution’s case that the attacks were orchestrated by dealer Youssef Wynne, and latterly assisted by “right-hand man” Josh Craig Hawthorn but were carried out by “enforcer” Kenneth Paul Fawcett, who recruited John George Wandless to assist with the final three incidents.

The Northern Echo:

Fawcett, 33, of Balkwell Avenue, North Shields, and Wandless, also 33, formerly of North Shields, but said to be of no fixed abode, plus 39-year-old Wynne, of Wuppertal Court, and 22-year-old Hawthorn, of Ashfield, both Jarrow, South Tyneside, all deny the murder of Mr Foster and robbery of cannabis edibles from him.

Wynne denies assaulting Mr Foster, causing actual bodily harm, 11 months earlier.

Fawcett, Wandless and Wynne also deny causing grievous bodily harm with intent to a woman who lost an eye, in an attack on August 16, and attempted GBH with intent to another victim, on August 12.

See more court stories from The Northern Echo, by clicking here

South Shields man was first of four ammonia attack victims in 11 days

Gateshead doorstep ammonia attack led to death of victim within hours

Four men now accused murder of Andy Foster in ammonia attack

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Wynne and Fawcett also deny a similar charge relating to the first victim, in the incident in South Shields, on August 9.

Wandless has, however, admitted handling a stolen Volkswagen Golf between August 3 and 23, and arson, destroying it by fire, on August 22 last year.

The trial, expected to run until mid-June, continues tomorrow (Friday May 17).