German 'stabbed Suffolk student 86 times'

HATRED and obsession led to an alleged cyber stalker murdering a Stowmarket man by stabbing him 86 times, a jury heard today.

HATRED and obsession led to an alleged cyber stalker murdering a Stowmarket man by stabbing him 86 times, a jury heard today.

David Heiss denies the “savage” and “sustained” attack on Matthew Pyke.

Prosecutor Shaun Smith QC this morning told Nottingham Crown Court Heiss, 21, of Dauborn, near Limburg in Germany, despised the 20-year-old and had a fixation with his girlfriend Joanna Witton.

Mr Pyke was found on September 19 last year in the blood-splattered flat he shared with Miss Witton above the Orange Tree public house in North Sherwood Street, Nottingham.


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Mr Smith QC told the jury: “Matthew Pyke was just 20-years-old. Sometime after 7am the defendant took Matthew's life in Matthew's own home.

“It was a cold, calculated and premeditated act. It was an act that was born out of obsession and hatred in equal measure.

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“Obsession for Joanna Witton, who was Matthew's girlfriend, and who had been Matthew's girlfriend for some considerable time, and hatred for Matthew because Matthew was Joanna's boyfriend and because of things that happened in the course of internet conversations.

“It was a savage and sustained act. It did not involve one or two acts of violence. It involved 86 - that's how many times this defendant stabbed Matthew Pyke.”

The jury also heard that included in the multiple wounds which Mr Pyke suffered were injuries to his hands where he had tried to defend himself from the frenzied attack.

Mr Pyke, Miss Witton, and Heiss got to know each other through a gaming website called Warscentral.com

The court was told that initially their relationship existed only through the internet.

However, Heiss, who went by the name of Eagle Lightning, developed a fixation with Miss Witton.

Despite Miss Witton and Mr Pyke both trying to discourage the obsession Heiss' fixation only became worse to the point where he issued warnings and also threatened to harm himself.

The German national arrived in England, having already prepared a fake suicide note purporting to be written by Mr Pyke.

The court was told Heiss went to Nottingham from Birmingham and arrived at 12.26am on September 19.

He managed to get through a security gate next to the Orange Tree pub and slept outside the flats, one of which was rented by Mr Pyke, a former Stowmarket High School pupil, and Miss Witton.

Mr Smith QC said: “Joanna Witton got up at 6.55am. She went to work, she was working in Shropshire.

“She hugged and kissed Matthew. She said goodbye. She told him she loved him and sadly that was the last time she saw him alive.”

Miss Witton closed the flat door but did not lock it.

She went out onto the decking and did not realise that Heiss was watching her when she bent down to tie her shoelace, however, he did not say anything to her.

Mr Smith said: “He clearly had not come to speak to her or commit suicide in front of her. He could have done both. He let her go on her way to work. She hadn't got a clue he was there.

“What he (Heiss) then did was that he went to the flat.”

The jury heard that Mr Pyke came to the door, but if he had known it was Heiss he would not have let him in.

Mr Smith QC said Heiss attacked Mr Pyke with a knife he had brought with him straight away leaving blood in the doorway. There was also a trail of blood left by Mr Pyke as he tried to get away from the defendant while backing into his flat.

The frenzied assault left blood on the walls, floor, the front door, Heiss' trainers and on shoes.

Dots of blood were found in the living room.

The court heard that after his arrest in Germany, Heiss told police he had stabbed Mr Pyke indiscriminately.

Mr Smith said: “Matthew had absolutely no chance. He was stabbed straight away.”

Heiss had claimed there had been a struggle between the two of them but he had not murdered Mr Pyke.

However, according to a pathologist Mr Pyke had stab wounds to his front and his back. Although he survived for some minutes after the initial attack he died of his wounds.

At this point crying could be heard from the relatives of Mr Pyke in court, as the jury were told the major fatal injury he suffered was to his left lung. He also had stab wounds in his chest and liver.

Forensics also indicated Mr Pyke had grabbed the knife to stop himself being stabbed.

After fatally wounding Mr Pyke, Heiss changed into a spare set of clothes from the suitcase he had brought with him. However he did not bring any spare footwear.

CCTV shows Heiss leaving the flat with his suitcase before going back to get a laundry basket from the flat containing items belonging to Mr Pyke and Miss Witton.

He is alleged to have been trying to make the incident look like a burglary that had gone wrong.

The clothes Heiss wore were found in his bedroom at home in Germany by police.

As he left Nottingham he even wore a baseball cap owned by Mr Pyke.

- The trial continues.

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