‘Dying stab victim named best friend as his killer’, Old Bailey told
Bradley Wood denies murdering Lee Jay Hatley
24 November, 2017 — By Joe Cooper
Lee Jay Hatley
A YOUNG father stabbed 29 times named his friend as the killer to police before he died, a court has heard.
Jurors at the Old Bailey were told on Monday how Lee Jay Hatley, 29, told neighbours: “I’m dying, I can’t breathe” after an evening of drinking in Canonbury in June. Bradley Wood, 25, is accused of murdering Mr Hatley, who lived in Morland Mews, Barnsbury, and stabbing Mr Hatley’s new partner, Lauren Egan-Perkins, 22. He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
His trial was told that Mr Hatley managed to stagger next door and alert neighbours. The men had known each other for 15 years. Mr Wood told police that Mr Hatley was his “best friend”, the court heard.
Prosecutor Duncan Atkinson, QC, told the court: “As they sought to provide him with first aid, he told them he had been stabbed ‘everywhere’ and named the person who stabbed him as Bradley Wood. “He was heard to repeat this identification of his assailant on a number of occasions by neighbours and then police officers. He also told them he was dying. “In fact, not only Lee Hatley but also his partner, Lauren Egan-Perkins, had been stabbed with a kitchen knife picked up at Egan-Perkins’ flat by Bradley Wood.”
Jurors heard that Mr Hatley, his friend Louis Rooney and Mr Wood had spent the evening smoking and drinking at Miss Egan-Perkins’ flat in Baxter Road. Mr Atkinson, QC, told the court: “During the time that they were all together there had been some concerns about the defendant.
He had been paranoid that people were after him and thus reluctant to go to the shop with the others to purchase alcohol. “He had also started to talk of how Hatley enjoyed a better life than his own, because he had been in foster care and prison.” By the time of the attack, Mr Rooney had left and Ms Egan-Perkins had gone to bed. She awoke to find herself being attacked by Mr Wood, and suffered a stab wound to the neck and a large cut to her throat, the court heard.
Mr Wood cycled away from the scene and rang his father, who, the trial was told, arranged for his son to be taken to Northampton. The jury heard that on arrival, Mr Wood told another friend of his father: “It got out of hand. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.” Mr Wood handed himself into police on June 30 and made a statement claiming that the incident had arisen due to a misunderstanding.
The court heard that he told police: “Lee Jay notices I have the knife but misunderstands the situation, as to why I’ve got the knife. Lee-Jay advances towards me and in doing so the bedside lamp goes out. It is now pitch dark. A struggle ensues. We grab each other. “The scuffle was short, lasts around 20 seconds. At no time did I intend to harm, assault or kill Lee Jay. I then panicked…” The prosecutor said Mr Wood was the only suspect for the stabbing of Miss Egan-Perkins and claimed he attacked Mr Hatley “offensively and in anger”.
Mr Atkinson said: “While he would have been entitled to defend himself if he had been attacked, his response to any such attack from an unarmed man, a friend, was to use a lethal weapon – a response out of all proportion. “The fact that some of the wounds were to Mr Hatley’s upper limbs was consistent with those injuries being sustained when Mr Hatley was defending himself.”
Mr Wood denies murder, attempted murder and an alternative charge of wounding with intent. The trial continues.