Woman denies lying to jury, and reveals drug addict mother’s terrible self-harm

Lee McKnight Credit: Cumbria Police / ITV Border

A woman accused of murdering Lee McKnight has denied lying in her evidence to jurors — and told how her mother, a fellow suspect, resorted to gruesome self-harm in the grip of drug addiction before his death.

Coral Edgar, 26, is spending a third day giving evidence in the trial of six people who deny murdering Mr McKnight in July last year, and is being cross-examined by barristers representing co-defendants.

They include a QC acting for her mother, 47-year-old Carol. Toby Hedworth outlined how Carol had been “living a reasonable” life with a partner and even a “couple of horses” before her relationship broke down.

After losing her home, Carol went to live with her daughter in early 2020 at a Charles Street address in which Mr McKnight was later subjected to deadly violence.

Coral Edgar agreed her mother struggled and “spiralled downhill”, taking more — and harder — drugs, often as a cocktail, injecting them in the bathroom of the property.

She agreed that in the grip of drugs, her mother had engaged in appalling self-harm.

Although often delirious, suffering from infection and unable to walk, Carol was later given ketamine which she used before her arrest as an “anaesthetic” and meant she was able to get about and start moving.

It was not unusual for others to use her Nissan Navara without knowing, confirmed Coral, who also said the pair’s principle drug dealer was Mr McKnight.

Mr McKnight came to the house in the early hours of 24th July — to deliver drugs to her, Coral insisted — but was instead greeted by another suspect, Jamie Davison, to whom he owed a long-standing debt.

Coral has already told jurors how she turned on television music in the living room to mask the sound of an initial argument between the men, and of covering her ears as what she described as a “ferocious” attack in the kitchen. She has described peeking into the kitchen, and of seeing three men — Davison and fellow suspects Jamie Lee Roberts and Arron Graham — standing there with Mr McKnight grounded and bleeding.

Fiona Horlick QC, for Graham, suggested: “Whoever you saw, it wasn’t Arron Graham, was it?” Coral Edgar replied: “It was Arron Graham.”

Ms Horlick had earlier also suggested: “What you are doing in your evidence is you are lying to try and get your evidence to fit in with the evidence in the case, aren’t you?” Edgar replied: “No.”

She also confirmed to Richard Littler QC, for 18-year-old Roberts, that she hadn’t seen the teen strike Mr McKnight.

“You can’t tell us, you can’t help us as to which of these three people did what to Lee McKnight. You just don’t know.”

Edgar replied: “I couldn’t say.”

She also confirmed to Mr Littler that she had heard unidentifiable raised voices, and distinctly remembered the word “ambulance” being used.

Mr Littler asked “do you feel that you have been tricked by Jamie Davison”, and also: “Do you feel that Jamie Davison has used you to lure Lee McKnight to that house?” To both questions, Coral Edgar replied: “Yeah.”

The trial continues.