Lee Jay Hatley murder trial: Alleged killer Bradley Wood was ‘jealous’ of his friend
PUBLISHED: 15:31 21 November 2017 | UPDATED: 09:10 22 November 2017
Lee Jay Hatley’s alleged murderer was “jealous” of his long-term friend, a court heard today.
Dad-of-one Mr Hatley, 29, was stabbed to death in Westcliff House, Baxter Road, Canonbury, on June 26.
Bradley Wood, 25, of no fixed abode, is accused of murdering Mr Hatley, who he had known for a “very very long time”.
At the second day of Wood’s trial at the Old Bailey today, a neighbour also said how Mr Hatley, of Morland Mews in Barnsbury, used his dying breaths to name Wood as his killer.
Louis Rooney, 22, had been close friends with Mr Hatley for three years. Through him, Mr Hatley had got to know Lauren Egan-Perkins. On June 25, they arranged to meet at her flat in Westcliff House. They were joined by Wood, the court heard.
After arriving at the flat at about 10.15pm, the three men went to an off-licence in Balls Pond Road to buy alcohol.
“It was Lee’s idea to get a drink,” Mr Rooney said. “Bradley didn’t want to go. He said the area was a bit rough. He probably had people around there that didn’t like him. We bought Smirmoff vodka, orange juice, snacks and sweets.”
They spent the night drinking and smoking cannabis, the court heard.
Mr Rooney said: “We went back into the sitting room. The mood was alright at the start, we were all having a really good time. But coming to the end of it, when I was starting to leave, Bradley started talking about how he came out of prison. It was like he was jealous of Lee, saying how his life wasn’t very good. ‘You don’t have to deal with these sorts of problems.’ That sort of thing.”
“Lee was always positive, so he just said: ‘Shut up, stop thinking about that stuff, leave it.’”
Wood wasn’t drinking or smoking as much, Mr Rooney told the court. He left the flat at 1am.
“Lauren had gone to bed five or 10 minutes before I left, and there weren’t any problems [between Wood and Mr Hatley].”
When Mr Rooney got home, he arranged to meet Mr Hatley again. He was asked if Wood could come as well, as he had nowhere to stay.
It was when he later called Ms Egan-Perkins that he realised something had gone wrong, the court heard.
“I spoke to Lauren. She couldn’t get her words out. Then she said there was blood all over the house. I was panicking, asking her to tell me what’s happening.”
After the line cut off, the court heard, Mr Rooney called her again. When she picked up, “she just didn’t say anything”.
Under cross-examination from prosecutor Duncan Atkinson, barmaid Ms Egan-Perkins told the court she went to Mr Rooney’s house on June 25 after finishing her shift. Mr Hatley and Mr Wood were also there, but she “got bored” as she had been drinking and they were sober.
Ms Egan-Perkins had known Mr Rooney for six years, Mr Hatley one month and had only met Mr Wood twice, the court heard. She said she had “chemistry” with Mr Hatley but they were no more than friends. She invited them to her flat later that night.
Like Mr Rooney, Ms Egan-Perkins said the “mood was nice” when they sat drinking and smoking cannabis in her flat. “We were listening to music. Lee Jay always made the atmosphere fun anyway. I [eventually] went into my room to fall asleep because I was drunk. I wasn’t aware of anyone else leaving.
“The next thing I know, I am being dragged out of my bed by my feet. I didn’t know what was going on. I got picked up by my head. My neck was twisted. It was very dark. He tried to wring my neck.”
Mr Atkinson interjected: “You said ‘he’. Did you know who it was?” Ms Egan-Perkins said: “Not at that stage. I could see a big build, big shoulders.”
Mr Atkinson asked: “Who was most consistent with that build?” Ms Egan-Perkins replied: “Bradley Wood.”
She continued: “I heard Lee say: ‘Don’t listen to him, Lol [his nickname for her].’ Next thing, bearing in mind I was being held, I was dropped to the floor, told to ‘shut up’ and then I was stamped on the head.”
Ms Egan-Perkins said she didn’t recognise the voice that told her to “shut up”. But she added: “I heard Lee Jay on two occasions say ‘stop it Bradders’ just before he stamped on my head. I was in and out of consciousness. When I came to, I was half under my bed.”
Unbeknownst to her, Ms Egan-Perkins had also been stabbed. “The front door wasn’t shut,” she told the court. “I woke up in a panic. I could hear a woman screaming in the block. I got up, locked the door and called the police.”
The court heard Mr Hatley had left a note addressed to “Lollypop” in her lounge, but she hadn’t seen it at that stage. The note was not read out in court.
Ms Egan-Perkins was actually arrested on suspicion of Mr Hatley’s murder before being released without charge. She was in hospital for five days with her injuries. Wood was charged five days later.
Chris Petersen, Ms Egan-Perkins’ next door neighbour, was woken at 2am on June 26 by a “quite loud” knock on his door, the court heard.
“I looked through the spy hole and couldn’t see anything. This was just after Grenfell Tower and I instantly checked for signs of fire. Soon after, I went back to bed. I though it [the knock] may have been kids playing around.
“A couple of minutes later, there were more knocks, but not as loud. We were totally awake at that point. I could hear a voice saying ‘help me, help me’. I opened the door and said there was someone outside lying down. He had no top on. He had blood all over him. I have never seen so much blood in my life.
“I shut the door because I wasn’t sure if the perpetrator was outside. My wife called the police right away. He continued to say ‘help me, help me, I am dying’. The first thing I asked was what happened, who did it. He said ‘Bradley Wood’.
“At that point, a downstairs neighbour came up. There were a million thoughts going through my head, with my six months pregnant wife beside me. I asked him if it was safe to come out. He said he had military and first aid experience, and my wife got all our towels from the flat to try and stop the bleeding.”
Mr Petersen continued: “He had a number of wounds to his upper body. We asked him five or six times who did it. It was the same name, Bradley Wood. I told my wife to write it down. He was asking about the girl [Ms Egan-Perkins].
“I saw a female come out of the flat next door. She had blood on her shirt and in her hair.”
Wood denies Mr Hatley’s murder, the attempted murder of Ms Egan-Perkins and another charge of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
The trial continues.