The boyfriend of one of two sisters savagely stabbed to death in a park has described the horrifying moment he found their lifeless bodies in bushes.
Nicole Smallman, 27, and Bibaa Henry, 46, were allegedly attacked by Danyal Hussein, 19, following his blood pact with a demon to win the lottery.
Earlier that night, they had been celebrating Ms Henry’s birthday with friends in Fryent Country Park in Wembley, north-west London.
On Monday, Ms Smallman’s boyfriend Adam Stone broke down at the Old Bailey as he told of his frantic search for his girlfriend and her sister.
When he finally found the bodies concealed in bushes near the picnic spot, he screamed and fell to his knees, jurors heard.
Video editor Mr Stone, 35, told jurors he had met Ms Smallman on Facebook six years before and they had lived together at his parents’ house, with their pet bearded dragon.
By last June, Ms Smallman had moved into a shared flat but they remained “very much in love, best friends”, he said.
Mr Stone had stayed at home on the night of Ms Henry’s party on June 5 last year but had given Ms Smallman money for a minicab home.
Just after 1am, he received a last text message from her saying: “I’m dancing in a field.”
She did not respond to his reply and he became increasingly worried that neither her friends nor family had seen her, the court heard.
He reported Ms Smallman missing to police and even attempted to track her mobile phone, without success, the jury was told.
On June 7, Mr Stone and his parents David and Jill decided to search for the sisters in the park where she had been last seen, shouting and looking in bushes, the court heard.
He met up with Ms Bibaa’s concerned friend Nina Esmat on top of a hill at the site of the party, the court heard.
He said: “She was already at the position where they had been the night before. She had found some sunglasses.
“I think she called the police and they told her to bring the glasses to the station.”
Mr Stone said he found a second pair of glasses but left them where they were “just in case it was a crime scene”.
Prosecutor Oliver Glasgow QC asked: “At this point how are you feeling?”
Mr Stone haltingly replied: “Terrified.”
After Ms Esmat left to go to the police station, his father found a black handled kitchen knife in the grass, jurors heard.
The witness said: “The second I saw the knife I started running. I already had my phone ringing 999.”
He spotted some shoes in undergrowth and ran round and “dived into the bushes”, he said.
Mr Stone became emotional as he described finding the two women’s bodies.
Mr Glasgow said: “Did you touch either of the bodies?”
Mr Stone said: “No. I fell to my knees in front of Nicole.”
Mr Glasgow said: “Was it obvious to you she was dead?
The witness replied: “Yes. I was on the phone to the police at the time.
“I screamed and I saw my mum and dad were a couple of metres behind me.
“I jumped up and turned around, gave my phone to my dad.
“I was still connected to 999 and grabbed them by the shoulders and told them not to look in there.”
Mr Stone’s father told jurors that his son had looked “ashen” when he saw the knife and gave a “gutteral” scream when he discovered the bodies.
He told jurors: “Adam came out and he said something like ‘they are there or they are in there’.
Mrs Stone wept as she told jurors her son had become increasingly “frantic” in the hours after Ms Smallman went missing.
Describing what he did after he found the bodies, she said: “He came up to me holding my shoulders and said ‘don’t panic mum, she’s gone. They’ve gone.’
“He was grey. It was like the whole world stopped at that point.
“He was shaking and he said ‘should I go back because might she be alive or she might not be dead?'”
But Mrs Stone said she felt they could not be alive after so much time.
She added the couple were very alike, both “artistic and full of love and creativity”.
Earlier, Ms Esmat had described her feelings of “dread” after attending her friend Ms Henry’s party.
The picnic area had been decked out with blankets, cushions and fairy lights and she drank white wine spritzers.
Describing the atmosphere of the party, she said: “It was lovely to get together with people after lockdown.
“It was a beautiful evening, amazing view, amazing sunset.
“We were all taking pictures remarking on the sky at night.”
Ms Esmat was one of the last to leave at around 11.45pm while the sisters stayed on, the court heard.
She told jurors: “I had the impression they were not going to stay long.
“It felt a safe space.”
During the search for the sisters on June 7, her “heart sank” when she spotted Ms Henry’s new prescription glasses glinting in the grass.
Ms Esmat set off to Wembley police station to hand in the glasses, leaving Mr Stone to continue the search.
While in the police station, she heard messages on the radio about Fryent Park, the court heard.
Ms Esmat said: “Adam eventually texted me to say ‘I’ve found them. They are gone’.
“I knew what he meant but I did not want to believe it.
“I did reply ‘what do you mean they are gone?’
“He said ‘they are dead’.”
Hussein, of Guy Barnett Grove, Blackheath, south-east London, has denied double murder and possessing a knife.
Watch the latest videos from Yahoo News UK