A DEFENDANT in the Angelo Rodrigues murder trial told detectives that his co-defendant had spoken of stabbing the victim 20 times, a court heard.

Transcripts from five police interviews with James Kinsley were read to the jury at Winchester Crown Court.

Kinsley, 40, at first said Tracy Mansell, his co-accused, told him she had “done something” to Mr Rodrigues on July 27 last year.

He claimed he had not enquired further as he “didn’t want to know”.

However, in a later interview, he said Mansell had told him she stabbed Mr Rodrigues 20 times when the three scuffled at the victim’s flat in Coleman Road, West Howe.

Questioned further by detectives, Kinsley denied seeing any knife at the scene, and said when he left the flat he did not believe Mr Rodrigues was badly injured.

He said Mr Rodrigues had reached for an improvised weapon, identified as the “rope weapon” during the trial, as the three of them argued at the door of the flat, and Kinsley attacked him to protect himself and Mansell.

Witnesses called on Monday included neighbour Gail Ali-Yousef, who said Mr Rodrigues would “shout and rave and throw furniture on to Tracy’s porch”.

She described their relationship as “volatile”.

Questioned about the incident by prosecutor Graham Reeds QC, she said: “There was such a lot of shouting and screaming going on, to be quite honest I thought it was Jim (Kinsley) starting on Tracy, so I went out to see if she needed my help.

“I heard Jim’s voice shouting ‘Give me the knife’, from the hallway of the flat.”

She said Mansell, 56, then “flew down the stairs” and, as she passed her, said: “Get inside girl, this is none of your business.”

Other neighbours, Brendan Dean and his partner Charlyn Martin, also gave evidence, both saying they were good friends of Mansell.

Mr Dean said Mansell approached them after the incident while they were drinking with friends.

He said she seemed “upset and erratic” and had blood on her leg. Ms Martin said Mansell seemed “frantic” and “in shock” and wasn't her usual “bubbly” self.

She said she was aware the defendant had suffered psychological issues in the past, and thought they had been getting worse over the six months before Mr Rodrigues’ death.

The trial continues tomorrow.