A text message reading “you murdering b******s” was found on the phone of a stab victim’s father minutes after his son suffered the fatal wound, a murder trial jury heard.

PC Shane Kyme found the messages on John Pickering’s phone in the kitchen of his large detached bungalow on Meadowcroft Road, Normanby, on the night of April 16.

He saw a Japanese samurai sword sheath laid on the floor and a bloodied wooden pickaxe handle and saw Mr Pickering, 45, “delirious” and staggering about.

Steven John Willis, the 27-year-old man who died following an incident in Meadowcroft Road
Steven Willis, the 27-year-old man who died following an incident in Meadowcroft Road

He found the phone carrying the messages saying “come on… where are you? I will come to you” ending with “come on big boy” at 10.25pm.

Twenty minutes later came the message “you murdering b******s”, Teesside Crown Court heard on Tuesday.

Efforts to save the life of Steven Willis

There was crying in the court’s public gallery as jurors heard of efforts to save the life of Mr Pickering’s son Steven Willis, 27, who died from a stab wound to the heart.

Neighbour Paul Hughes heard commotion with a voice shouting “hit him, ****ing do him”, a lad walking by with a sword or pole then the words “he’s been stabbed”.

He saw a bare-chested lad with a wound to his back, saying “I’m dying, I’m dying” and another lad collapsed on the ground receiving CPR from a woman.

In his statement, he described John Pickering as drunk, crying and shouting “come on son” before a paramedic said “he has gone”.

‘It was pandemonium’

Cheryl White, visiting a friend that night, said she saw a man walk towards a parked car and collapse.

She and her friend put their coats over him and under his head. Their friend Lynne Blackburn said: “It was pandemonium.

“There were people everywhere in the street. I heard someone shouting ‘someone’s been stabbed’.”

Taxi driver Ernestas Dagys saw a knife holder in the street which “reminded me of the one used in the Rambo films”.

Paramedics arrived at 10.42pm and found Steven Willis in a state of cardiac arrest. They treated him for 20 minutes but could not resuscitate him and he died at 11.02pm.

‘Combat-style knife’ found wrapped in towel

Sergeant Daniel Cook saw paramedics giving Mr Willis CPR.

He said John Pickering, who had also been stabbed to his side, collapsed when informed that his son had died.

His younger son Lennon, then 17, suffered two stab wounds.

Almost two days later, PC Michael Johnson found a 14-cm “black combat-style knife” with smooth and serrated edges wrapped in a towel hidden in the kitchen of a flat at Fleet House, Thorntree, Middlesbrough.

The knife used to stab John Pickering

Peter Doyle QC, defending murder accused Kieran Ibitson, said it was agreed that was the knife Ibitson used to stab John Pickering.

The jury has heard Ibitson admitted wounding John Pickering with intent to cause serious harm.

Co-accused Jack Cross accepted he drove the car and disposed of a samurai sword on waste ground.

The tip of the sword, said to have been carried by Mr Willis, was found on the pavement at the scene of the street fight in Normanby.

The court was told Steven Willis was found to have a “very high concentration” of cocaine in his blood.

This meant he had “used a significant quantity of the drug” and was likely experiencing its symptoms at the time he died.

Five Middlesbrough men – Ibitson, 21, of Beresford Crescent, Thorntree; Dominic Pickering, 23, of Grinkle Avenue, Park End; Mark Pickering, 32, of Greenham Close, Thorntree; Jack Cross, 21, of Olney Walk, Park End; and Jahmal Weaver, 22, of Rounton Green, Berwick Hills – deny Mr Willis’ murder and manslaughter, and charges of wounding with intent to cause serious harm.

Proceeding

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