A MAN accused of stabbing his girlfriend’s stepfather through the heart with a steak knife has gone on trial charged with murder.

Nicolas Warrender, 23, is alleged to have attacked 53-yearold Kevin Gaunt on the doorstep of his home in Avenue Vivian, Fencehouses, Houghton-le-Spring, Wearside.

He shared the house next door with Mr Gaunt’s stepdaughter, Hannah, 20, and the pair had been out drinking when trouble flared at about 10pm, on June 17.

A row broke out between Hannah and her mother, Carol, over who should look after her four-year-old daughter overnight.

Robert Woodcock, prosecuting, told Newcastle Crown Court, a scuffle broke out after Mr Warrender went next door when Hannah claimed she had been assaulted by Mr Gaunt.

He said: “The result was that Kevin Gaunt was fatally wounded with a stab wound to the chest. He made his way back to the kitchen, where he collapsed on the floor with a wound to his chest, bleeding profusely.”

Mr Warrender, formerly of Corrighan Terrace, East Rainton, who had been Hannah’s boyfriend for about three years, denies a murder charge.

Mr Woodcock said: “Before he went round he armed himself with a knife, a steak knife, from a block of knives in the kitchen, a weapon he had concealed, a weapon which Kevin Gaunt never had sight of at all.

It was then, with one surreptitious blow to his chest, that he has killed him. It was, say the prosecution, no accident.

“It was a blow that Kevin Gaunt did not and could not have seen coming. It was a wound that he would not, and could not, recover from.”

The jury was told Mr Warrender told police he had a knife in his hand when he went next door because he had been eating an apple.

But Mr Woodcock said he was merely using an idea he got from Carol Gaunt, who used to say that is the excuse she would have given if she had stabbed a former partner who had been abusive.

Mr Woodcock said: “The prosecution says there was no apple found and no knife has been found because the defendant threw it away before he was arrested.”

The trial continues.