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Angelo Rodrigues murder trial: ‘I saw her lunging at him with a knife’
A COUPLE who lived in the same block as murder victim Angelo Rodrigues told a court yesterday how he was confronted by his knife-wielding neighbour.
Laura Whelan told the jury she was unpacking shopping with her partner Tyler Taylor and her one-year-old daughter when they saw defendant Tracy Mansell walk up to Mr Rodrigues’ flat in Coleman Road, West Howe.
She said Mansell, 56, was talking to herself, complaining about “noise”, and went up the steps to Mr Rodrigues’ flat.
She claimed Mansell began to knock and kick at the door “quite aggressively”, all the while shouting for Mr Rodrigues to come out, after which she shouted and swore at him. Ms Whelan, 22, said she then saw a knife in Mansell’s hand.
“I saw her lunge at him. She wasn’t very steady on her feet,”
she said. “At some point I saw her making jabbing movements towards him, slicing movements.”
Her partner, Mr Taylor, 22, also gave evidence at Winchester Crown Court.
He said: “She was shouting that there was too much noise coming from the flat. I didn’t know what to think, but it was quite scary.
“It happened quite fast. I saw her go for him a few times. She made one slashing motion and one stabbing motion. He put his arm up to protect himself, but I didn’t see any blood.”
The young family left the building and Ms Whelan dialled 999.
Under cross-examination from Mark Heyward QC, counsel for Mansell, she said Mr Rodrigues used to shout and scream to himself inside and outside the flat.
Another neighbour, Christopher Edwards, 54, later told the court the victim would occasionally talk to himself, and to his television, in English or his native Portuguese.
A toxicology report by forensic scientist Pauline Lax said Mr Rodrigues had a moderate level of alcohol in his blood at the time of his death, as well as traces of methadone, cannabis and antidepressants.
Mansell’s samples, taken five hours after the incident, showed traces of cocaine, cannabis and anti-depressants.
Graham Reeds QC, prosecuting, said Mansell’s blood alcohol levels suggested she would have been more than twice the drinkdrive limit at the time of the incident.
Mansell, 56, of Coleman Road, West Howe, and co-defendant Kinsey, 40, of Hinton Road, Bournemouth, deny murder.
The trial continues.