Man who slashed ex's face says 'the last thing I wanted to do was resort to violence'

Police at the cordoned off scene on Upper Warwick Street, Toxteth
-Credit: (Image: Andrew Teebay Liverpool Echo)

A murder suspect who stabbed a man to death, knifed another in the stomach and slashed his ex-girlfriend in the face has told a court: "The last thing I wanted to do was resort to violence."

Ian Scott plunged the weapon into Liam Humphreys' heart before leaving him bleeding and fatally wounded in the stairwell of a block of flats on Hillaby Close in Toxteth on December 10 last year. He was said to have been "angry, threatening and determined to fight" with the 28-year-old, the deceased's friend Tamas Jonas and his former partner Rebecca Scott - with whom he was "quarrelling" following their breakup and had "bickered" with over a £5 debt and a vacuum cleaner - at the time of the incident.

The 38-year-old then cycled away from the scene, still clutching the knife, before "disguising himself" in workmen's clothing and sparking a police "manhunt". Scott is currently on trial at Liverpool Crown Court accused of Mr Humphreys' murder but claims to have acted in self defence, having allegedly been subjected to an "unprovoked attack".

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He gave evidence from the witness box for a second day today, Wednesday. Under questioning from his counsel Nigel Power KC, he told the jury how he had been cleaning in his flat wearing latex gloves before spotting Mr Humphreys, Ms Scott and Mr Jonas outside the communal door to his building.

Scott stated that he then placed a knife within the waistband of his tracksuit bottoms before heading downstairs to "mediate the situation". He said Mr Humphreys had attacked him with a dog chain when he opened the door, adding: "He was about to whack me with the dog chain, and I'm just backing off away.

"It was very close, but I didn't get hit downstairs with the chain. As he's about to attack me with the chain, I'm still stepping back.

"I came forward to scare him and to give me time to run. At that time, I think I'm still getting it [the knife] out from my waist.

"I wasn't willing to use a knife. It was just there to deter them away and give me time to run away from them.

"That's all it was meant for. Just a shield."

Scott said he "ran for his life" up the stairs as Ms Scott "screamed and shouted at him", "calling him a p***y" and asking "what are you running away?". He added: "I could hear them chasing me.

"I turned to look and see if they were there and they were both there coming up the stairs, Rebecca and Liam. When I got to the top of the stairs, I was panicking.

"I had my keys in my hand and my hand was shaking. I kept saying to myself 'don't drop the keys'."

Scott told the court that he managed to get back inside, but Ms Scott was "trying to burst into the flat". He said: "I was pushing the door and Rebecca was trying to force her way into the door.

"Liam came just a couple of seconds behind her. He was trying to push the door too."

Scott stated that he was able to shut the door, after which "they were shouting and booting the door", "calling him a little p***y" and "telling me to come out". He continued: "It lasted about 10 to 15 seconds.

"I grabbed another knife on top of the fridge. I forgot I still had the other one.

"I was panicking, thinking they were gonna come through the door. I was telling them to go away."

Scott said it then "went quiet", at which point he looked through the porthole in his front door and realised his bike had vanished from the landing outside. He then went out to see Mr Humphreys, Ms Scott and Mr Jonas taking his bicycle downstairs, adding: "In frustration I threw it [the knife] down, not at them.

"I just threw it down in frustration. They started running towards me."

Scott told jurors that the flat door had shut behind him at this point, and he had left his keys inside. He said he then had "nowhere to go", adding: "I was so scared.

"I've never been scared in my life as I was. That's when all three of them come up.

"Rebecca had a phone. She was recording it or something.

"I was just standing them telling them to go away - at least 10 or 15 times, I told them 'go away'. I was just shaking."

Mr Power asked: "Did the fact that you had a knife seem to have any effect on them?"

Scott replied: "Not one effect. That's what made me more scared.

"They're not going anywhere. The last thing I want to do is resort to violence.

"[Ms Scott] was standing there yelling nonsense. She said 'look at your eyes, they're going crazy like you’re gonna do something'.

"She grabs me by my throat with one hand. She’s choking me.

"I’m still looking at the two other males. I'm bracing myself, thinking one of these are gonna start hitting me.

"She was just choking me. I'll never forget how red her eyes were, it was just anger and hate in her eyes.

"She started punching me, she punched me twice. That’s when Liam came from the left and hit me over the head with the dog chain.

"My knees buckled a bit. I thrust the knife towards him.

"It was just to back him off. As I've done that, that's when he backed off a bit.

"Rebecca said 'don't you dare try and stab him'. I just wanted to back him away, I didn't want to hurt no one.

"Tamas Jonas come towards me then, I thought I'll do the same thing to back him off. As I've done it, he's just walked into the knife."

Scott reported that Mr Jonas then left and went downstairs. Mr Power asked him: "Could you have left?"

He replied: "No, because Rebecca and Liam were in the only way of me getting out. I was telling them go away, just go away.

"He’s pushed Rebecca out the way and started attacking me. He was using the dog lead wrapped round his hand.

"He just kept whacking me, at least four times. He kept on whacking me and whacking me, I was just taking the blows.

Scott indicated that he had his left arm up protecting his head before motioning with his right hand as he said: "I've just said move and just pushed the blade in front of me. I just pushed it to do what I done the first time, to get him to back off.

"He’s just walked into the knife. I just went like that to back him off. Unfortunately, I got him in the chest."

Scott recalled Mr Humphreys falling to the floor at this stage and "bumping Becca towards me". He added: "I'm still flailing my hands and it's caught her in the face.

"I was just standing there, shocked. I couldn't get back into the flat.

"My keys and phone were in the flat. I went downstairs.

"I went over him, I grabbed the bike off the middle floor. The old lady downstairs come out.

"She was just a neighbour I'd speak to now and again. When I seen her I said 'I can't believe what's just happened, they just come to my house and attacked me for nothing."

Mr Power asked: "Did you intend to cause anyone serious bodily harm?"

Scott responded: "No, not at all. That's the last thing I wanted to do.

"At first I was trying to escape, and then the second time I had nowhere to go. I was telling them over and over again just go, but they wouldn't listen."

Scott said he then went to his mum's house nearby and changed his clothing, adding: "I was just panicking. I was so scared, I didn't know what to do.

"I just needed time to think. It's one of the most traumatic things anyone can go through, I didn't mean to do anything."

Scott stated that he "just threw" the knife and then spent the day "just walking around in a daze". He subsequently stayed "at a friend's house" before handing himself into the police on the evening of December 12.

When asked when he had heard that Mr Humphreys had died, he said "the next day" [December 11]. Scott added: "I just burst out in tears.

"I couldn't believe what's happened. I think one of my friends called me and told me someone's passed away."

Scott denies Mr Humphreys' murder, attempting to murder Mr Jonas and wounding with intent against both him and Ms Scott. The trial, before Mr Justice Freedman, continues.

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