Bury St Edmunds: Man died after being stabbed with screwdriver, court told

A SUFFOLK man died after being stabbed in the chest with a screwdriver during a late-night row about a dog, it has been alleged.

Forty-two-year-old Robin Lionnet lay in the garden of his home in Ashwell Road, Bury St Edmunds crying for help as Mark Turner allegedly made off with his pet, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Earlier neighbours allegedly heard someone threatening to kill Mr Lionnet and “angrily” demanding he handed over his dog, Ipswich Crown Court was told,

Peter Gair, prosecuting, told a jury that Mr Lionnet, a father of three, had lived on his own with his dog “Max” in Ashwell Road since the end of 2009 when his relationship with his partner Claire ended and she and their two daughters had moved in with Turner.

Contact between Mr Lionnet and his partner and two daughters had ceased shortly afterwards and nothing had happened until the early morning of February 21 this year when Turner allegedly went to Mr Lionnet’s house at around midnight and demanded that he handed over “Max”, said Mr Gair.

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He claimed that after threatening to kill Mr Lionnet, Turner had stabbed him once in the chest with a screwdriver and had left with the dog.

Police who went to Ashwell Road found Turner sitting in his van, with the screwdriver on the passenger seat and “Max” in the back of the vehicle.

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Mr Lionnet was found in his back garden crying for help and despite the efforts of the emergency services he died shortly afterwards at West Suffolk Hospital, said Mr Gair.

Turner, 48, of Green Lane, Cockfield, has denied murdering Mr Lionnet on February 21.

Mr Gair said that shortly before the alleged stabbing Turner had been drinking in the Priors Inn, which is close to Ashwell Road, and was heard to say he was going to get his dog.

After his arrest Turner said he had gone to Mr Lionnet’s house to get the family dog. He claimed Mr Lionnet had come forward at him and he had pushed him away causing him to fall over. He denied having anything in his hands and said he had “wanted to make everyone happy” by taking the dog home.

The court heard that a post-mortem examination showed Mr Lionnet had suffered a 6-7 cm deep stab wound which had punctured his lung. Mr Gair said Mr Lionnet suffered from asthma and emphysema which had contributed to his death.

He said blood samples taken from Mr Lionnet showed no evidence of alcohol or illegal drugs but there was evidence of the use of methadone - a prescribed heroin substitute for people coming off the drug.

The trial continues today.

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