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Murder accused threatened suicide

A police cordon on Strathmore Close, Hucknall
A police cordon on Strathmore Close, Hucknall

A jury heard how the woman accused of Christopher Pearson’s murder brandished a knife and threatened suicide months before his death.

Demi Harris, 21, is accused of stabbing her 39-year-old partner in a humiliated rage during a hot-tub party at their home on Strathmore Close, Hucknall, on February 18.

Mr Pearson’s friend Jed Dignam said that Harris turned off the power during a row about loud music at another party, last October. He said: “Demi had a knife in her hand and I think she said “move out of the way to me.””

Sallie Bennett-Jenkins QC, for the defence, said Harris had threatened to kill herself that night after verbal abuse from Mr Pearson.

She said: “She was holding a knife against her own stomach saying “I will do it.””

She showed a “selfie” of Harris and Mr Dignam, taken afterwards, and said: “You wouldn’t want to be posing with someone if they had done what you described?

“I am going to suggest that you adapted your evidence because there’s a high degree of loyalty among the men towards Christopher Pearson.”

Mr Dignam denied this. He said the couple argued, but he never witnessed violence towards Harris. He didn’t know that Harris tried to kill herself by taking an overdose of drugs, in April 2016.

Another friend, Mark Hart, said he took Harris upstairs to calm her down, and persuaded her to hand the knife over. He said: “She did say she had been hit in the face.”

Ms Bennett-Jenkins said pictures on Facebook showed bruises on Harris’s face, and that Mr Pearson’s violence towards her was “common knowledge”.

After her arrest in February, Harris told police he had attacked her before Christmas, but stopped when she bit him. She said she was 
angry because guests were using cocaine and the row escalated when he grabbed her.

“I didn’t mean to do it. It was just meant purely to scratch or shock so he would let go of me,” she told officers.

The trial continues.