Ryan Preston’s mum is set to take to the witness box at the Daniel Kennell murder trial this morning.
Over the past week the jury have heard how Daniel, 27, and Ryan Preston, also 27 and both from Wyken, clashed twice on the morning of July 8 last year.
Following the second altercation on St Austell Road, yards from his home, Daniel suffered a single stab wound to the chest.
He died from his injuries a short time later.
Ryan Preston, 27, of Hermitage Road, is in the dock at Warwick Crown Court with his mum Tracey Preston, 53, of the same address.
He denies the charge of murder.
She faces a charge of assisting an offender and is accused of driving her son away from the scene of the fatal fight.
During his evidence on Wednesday, the court heard how cocaine sparked the fights on that day which would eventually lead to Mr Kennell’s death.
Reporter Katy Hallan will be providing live updates from Warwick Crown Court.
Scroll down to follow those updates
Tracey confronts Danny
“I got quite far down the street and saw Danny coming up the road,” Tracey says.
She stopped her car and got out and went over to Mr Kennell.
She asked for the keys and he replied “I haven’t got them”.
She told him to “just give her the keys” and he gave them to her.
She then asked for Ryan’s phone back.
‘I turned back’
Tracey says Ryan never told her he was going to harm Danny and she did not think there was going to be a fight.
She said she drove off but “turned her car back” to go home and saw Ryan near Danny’s door.
She said she didn’t see him knocking on the door or the window.
Drive to St Austell Road
Tracey said she was annoyed and shouting at Ryan as she drove to St Austell Road, where Mr Kennell lived.
She says she dropped Ryan off a near Danny’s house, told him to “sort it out yourself” and drove off.
‘Pair of a***holes’
Defence barrister Trevor Meegan asks if this fighting was unusual behaviour.
Tracy says: “No, particularly not in the recent weeks. It was happening every weekend.”
She says she had told Danny they were a “pair of a***holes” and to “grow up”.
‘Danny’s took everything’
Tracey tells the jury she drove into Caludon Park car park and says Ryan was walking from the playground towards the car park.
She says he walked over to his car and said: “Danny’s took everything, he’s put me on my arse twice, he’s got my keys, he’s got my phone, he’s got my cigarettes and he’s got my money.”
She said she was not surprised they had been fighting.
She asked how he had got his keys and he told her Danny had been in the driving seat.
Second call from Ryan
Tracey tells the jury this was the first phone call she received that morning from Ryan.
She told him she was not at home and could not bring him the key.
Around 15 minutes later she received another call from Ryan while she was at the checkout.
This time Ryan asked her to bring the spare key, and she said she would be there in five minutes.
Day of Daniel’s murder
Tracey Preston’s barrister Trevor Meegan moves onto the day of Daniel Kennell’s death on July 8.
She says she went to Clifford Bridge Road Tesco to do a shop.
She got a call from Ryan while there saying “Mum can you bring my spare car key I’m in Caludon Park, Danny’s gone off with me car keys.”
The call lasted for 30 seconds.
“Took drugs for days”
She says Ryan knew she didn’t approve of the relationship.
She knew he was taking cocaine: “I wasn’t happy, I don’t approve of drug taking.”
She says they would take drugs for “two days, sometimes three days” and would stay at friends’ houses.
She says he “certainly didn’t do it in my house” but admits sometimes he would sneak in when she was out.
‘Didn’t approve of relationship’
Tracey Preston says about Mr Kennell’s and her son’s relationship: “They were good mates. They didn’t get on at school, it was only since school that they became mates.”
She says she “didn’t approve of the relationship” because of the “antics at the weekend”.
“They would just be drinking and taking drugs on Friday and Saturday night at least,” she said.
She says this would happen most weekends and she “practically begged him to stay away from Danny”.
She added: “They just weren’t good together.”
‘Danny was a bully’
Her barrister is asking her how she knew Mr Kennell.
She said she knew him from when Ryan started attending secondary school.
She describes him a “class joker, a bit of a clown, unfortunately though I did actually see him as a bit of a bully.
“He was a bully at school there was a group of five males at school, and bullying Ryan to an extent.”
Her barrister is now asking her about her relationship with Ryan’s father.
She says the relationship ended when Ryan was three, around 24 years ago.
She says they had a stepdad for 20 years but she is now not in a relationship.
Worked for CCFC
Tracey Preston worked in the Sky Blues pools office for 19 years and then moved into the ticket office.
After that she got a job at University Hospital, first in oncology clinical trials and then more recently in the radiotherapy department.
She is currently the waiting list co-ordinator there.
She has been employed there for just under 10 years and is still employed now.
Tracey Preston in dock
Tracey Preston is entering the dock.
She is wearing a smart maroon dress and black blazer.
She confirms she is now 54 years old.
The jury hears she has no previous convictions against her.
She tells the court she worked for Coventry City FC for 25 years straight after leaving school.
Jury taking seats
Tracey Preston’s lawyer Trevor Meegan will shortly call her to give evidence.
The jury are now returning to court.
Defendant’s mum in dock
The continuation of the trial into Daniel Kennell’s murder is due to start shortly.
We have heard Ryan Preston’s defence, who is accused of stabbing Mr Kennell to death.
Today we are due to hear from his mum, Tracey Preston, who is accused of helping him to flee the scene of the murder.
Here is a round-up of the evidence we’ve heard today.
Scroll down to read more details of the day’s proceedings.
We’ll return with coverage of this case in the morning.
Have a good evening.
The trial has now been adjourned and will resume on Friday morning when the defence case for Tracey Preston is expected to begin.
We will return to court tomorrow to bring you live updates as the case progresses.
“An attack pure and simple”
Mr Butterfield says that when Ryan Preston stabbed Mr Kennell it was “an attack pure and simple”.
Ryan Preston says if he had meant to stab Mr Kennell he would have done it in Caludon Castle park when they kept clashing.
He adds that he “didn’t mean to use the knife”.
That ends his evidence and the defence case for Ryan Preston.
Reason for carrying a knife
The prosecutor asks if Ryan Preston “owed the truth” to Daniel Kennell.
“I’m here telling the truth now,” says Ryan Preston.
Mr Butterfield says that the defendant had showed his knife to Lewis Davison and Ryan Preston agrees Mr Davison had seen it in his car.
Mr Butterfield says: “You told him (Mr Davison) that knife was for protection.”
Ryan Preston says: “No.”
Position of Tracey Preston
Mr Butterfield suggests that Ryan Preston and Tracey Preston have “spoken about” what happened on July 8, 2018.
He says that Ryan Preston said in his statement that his mum couldn’t see what had happened.
Mr Butterfield asks: “How would you know what your mum could or couldn’t see?”
The defendant says: “When I got to her car I saw the position it was in.”
The jury was previously told that Ryan Preston was heard in a police station saying “I’ve killed my best friend” and Mr Butterfield asks “if it was true to describe him as your best friend?”
Ryan Preston says he was, but added: “I’m just thinking of all the things that went on between us.”
Mr Butterfield says that in his prepared statement for police, Ryan Preston carried out a “character assassination” against Mr Kennell and was “blackening his name”.
Ryan Preston denies this.
“Does your sister live in a police station?”
Mr Butterfield asks Ryan Preston why he decided to go to his sister’s address.
Ryan Preston says he was planning to hand himself in.
Mr Butterfield asks: “Does your sister live in a police station?”
Ryan Preston says he “wasn’t going to drive to a police” in the state he was.
The prosecutor says Ryan Preston planned to “lay low” if he hadn’t been spotted by police officers and arrested.
The court hears that after leaving Caludon Castle park in his car, Ryan Preston drove to a friend’s house and told the person there that he had stabbed Mr Kennell.
Mr Butterfield says that if he was able to tell that person, it makes sense that he would also have told his mother.
Ryan Preston says: “If I had told my mum she wouldn’t have taken me away from the scene.”
He states that he only “started crying and feeling the true emotions” after he had got back into his car at Caludon Castle park.
Mr Butterfield asks why, in his prepared statement to police, did Ryan Preston say he had “no idea” where the knife was.
Ryan Preston says it was a “mistake”.
Mr Butterfield says it was an “obvious and deliberate lie”.
He asks Ryan Preston in court: “Did you take the knife with you?”
“Yes,” replies the defendant, who agrees that when making his police statement it “hadn’t slipped” his mind.
Mr Butterfield says: “You are being deliberately slippery here Mr Preston.”
The defendant says: “No.”
Getting rid of the knife
Mr Butterfield asks Ryan Preston why he got rid of the knife if he had stabbed Mr Kennell by accident.
“I didn’t want it on me,” he replies.
Mr Butterfield suggests that if shopping had been on the back seat of Tracey Preston’s car when Ryan Preston got in to the car, he could have leaned over and placed the knife in to one of the bags for his mother to take inside her home and clean it.
“My mum would never do that,” Ryan Preston says.
Left him to die
Mr Butterfield says that Ryan Preston “literally left him to die” – but the defendant says he “didn’t know how seriously he was injured”.
Mr Butterfield says: “You weren’t concentrating on being a friend. You were concentrating on trying to get yourself away.
Ryan Preston repeated that he “panicked and ran”.
The prosecutor asks if he was so panicked while in his mum’s car, how was the one thing he said on the journey about not turning the wrong way at the end of the road to enter a dead end.
“I just recalled saying ‘don’t go left’,” says Ryan Preston.
“I just panicked and ran”
Ryan Preston tells the court that he “froze” after Mr Kennell was stabbed and then “ran off”.
Mr Butterfield says he still had time to fold up the knife and put it back in his pocket.
The prosecutor asks: “Did you help that young man (Mr Kennell) in any way?”
The defendant answers: “No, I just panicked and ran.”
Mr Butterfield: “Did you have any thought to help Daniel that you had just hurt, by accident you say?”
“You were going in for the kill”
Mr Butterfield states that if you are holding a knife and punch someone then they will get stabbed.
Ryan Preston says “it’s a possibility”, to which Mr Butterfield replies: “Isn’t it plain, well inevitable?”
Mr Butterfield says that after stabbing Mr Kennell, Ryan Preston “followed him” and was “moving in with more aggressive intent”.
He says: “You were going in for the kill.”
Ryan Preston says: “I didn’t follow him. Daniel is my best friend and I would never do that intentionally to him.”
The prosecutor puts it to Ryan Preston that he didn’t hold the knife out in front of him, but instead hid it behind him out of Mr Kennell’s view.
Ryan Preston denies this.
“You stabbed him quite deliberately,” states Mr Butterfield.
“No,” says Ryan Preston.
Mr Butterfield: “You stabbed him forcefully didn’t you?”
Ryan Preston: “No.”
Mr Butterfield says the defendant was “acting as a pure attacker”.
“You could have run away”
The jury hears from the prosecutor that Ryan Preston had the time to “assemble” the knife before coming face-to-face with Mr Kennell.
Mr Butterfield says: “At any point in that you could have stopped and turned around?”
Ryan Preston says: “Daniel was running at me.”
Mr Butterfield: “You could have run away.”
Ryan Preston: “Possibly. It’s not to say he wouldn’t have caught up with me.”
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