A family’s Christmas turned to tragedy when a guest died of alleged stab wounds, a court has heard.
Adam Jenkins, a 35-year-old businessman, is accused of murdering Simon Birch on Christmas day last year in Newbottle, near Sunderland.
Mr Birch, 39, died of an alleged knife wound to his neck late on Christmas Day last year.
Jenkins, the brother of the victim's girlfriend, denies the charge and is standing trial at Newcastle Crown Court.
Mr Birch had spent the day with his girlfriend Emma Jenkins and family at her brother's house in Newbottle.
The day was said to be a happy one with games, food, singing and drinking.
However later in the evening Miss Jenkins and Mr Birch allegedly started arguing and it erupted into violence.
The court heard that the murder victim came upstairs and started hitting Miss Jenkins.
The argument spilled downstairs and other family members became involved.
Miss Jenkins told the court today she had no memory of how Mr Birch received his fatal injuries.
In court Miss Jenkins said her brother was the "protector" of her family.
She said: “If I had any problems I would go to him and he would sort it out.
“He was like the head of our family, protecting not just me but everybody.”
The defendant and Simon Birch were friendly before the incident and Miss Jenkins said her brother would stay out of their relationship problems as much as possible.
She said in the year running up to his death she had been concerned about her partner's behaviour as he started taking more drugs and became more volatile.
The victim's family has previously described him as a much-loved son, father, brother and uncle.
The trial continues.
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