Page last updated at 15:07 GMT, Tuesday, 5 May 2009 16:07 UK

Stab victim 'wrote in own blood'

Matthew Pyke
Matthew Pyke was found stabbed 86 times in his flat

A student tried to write the name of his German love rival in his own blood as he was stabbed to death in a Nottingham flat, a court was told.

Nottingham Crown Court heard Matthew Pyke was stabbed 86 times by David Heiss, 21, of Limburg, Germany, on 19 September.

Mr Heiss denies murder and claims he stabbed Mr Pyke, 20, in self defence.

The court heard Mr Heiss had become infatuated with Mr Pyke's girlfriend after contacting her on a website.

'Charged at me'

Shaun Smith QC, prosecuting, showed jurors a picture of Mr Pyke's computer on which he said were the first three letters of Mr Heiss's name, written in blood, in an effort to alert police.

While giving evidence Mr Heiss, an office worker, told the court he had fought Mr Pyke for the knife.

He said: "He charged at me. I was trying to push his arms away so they wouldn't make contact with me. I stumbled back and fell on the table.

"He lost the knife when it fell to the floor. He tried to crawl towards it but I tried to prevent it by sitting on him. After a few seconds I got hold of it.

Joanna Witton
Joanna Witton met the defendant through an online chat forum

"He started kicking me in the back and he was looking at me angrily.

"I was lucky that I was still alive. I was almost sure that if I had lost the knife it would have been my end."

Mr Heiss added: "I don't know if it was adrenalin but I managed to get my arm away and then I stabbed him."

The court heard earlier that Mr Pyke, originally from Stowmarket, in Suffolk, suffered a "savage and sustained" attack at the flat he shared with his girlfriend Joanna Witton, 21, in North Sherwood Street.

Miss Witton, from Selby, North Yorkshire, met Mr Heiss on a chat forum of the war games website she had set up with Mr Pyke.

The court was told he spent six months pestering her with emails and messages before the alleged murder.

The trial continues.



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