THE neighbour of Andrew Nall told jurors how his drinking had increased after splitting from his former partner.
Giving evidence to Chester Crown Court yesterday, Lynne Hopkins, of Eversley Park, said she had known Mr Nall for about four or five years and had known him to be an alcoholic she “tried to avoid”.
Miss Hopkins said Mr Nall’s drunken behaviour – which included passing out through drink on his front door – persuaded her and her partner ,Tom, to attempt to have an Anti Social Behaviour Order (ASBO) imposed.
Police were unable to act, however, without CCTV evidence.
Miss Hopkins told the court Mr Nall seemed to have increased his drinking after his former partner, Maria Griffin, had moved out of the flat earlier in the year.
“When he first moved in he seemed perfectly nice and very pleasant. After a while, however, I just saw him as a drunk,” said Miss Hopkins.
“He (Mr Nall) had regular visitors and they seemed top spend most of their days sitting on the doorstep drinking alcohol.
“His behaviour changed about the middle of July. He was drinking, partying and socialising with other people. There were now others on the scene.”
Miss Hopkins told the court a woman had moved in with Mr Nall in the weeks that followed, stating that initially she never saw her, only heard her.
Holleran had been living with Mr Nall up until the time of his death.
“They were often shouting and sounding like they were having a argument. It seemed as if she was living there permanently. On one occasion myself and Tom heard her shout ‘get out of my gaff’.
The court heard Mr Nall and Holleran were a nuisance and often played loud music throughout the day, including on the evening of August 30, when the same song could be heard playing on a loop for a period of time.
Miss Hopkins told the court the last time she saw Mr Nall was at about 5.30pm on August 30 when he was smoking in the grounds of the flat car park.
“When he saw me, he went inside. That was what he usually did when he was sober.
“That was the last time I saw him. I didn’t hear any disturbance.”
Miss Hopkins, on leaving the flat early at 6.30am on August 31, noticed a cut up tie, knife and scissors on the doorstep of Mr Nall’s flat.
“I was catching a flight to Japan so I had to leave early. When I came out the door I noticed a piece of tie on my doorstep,” said Miss Hopkins.
“I threw it back as there were usually things like empty alcohol bottles on our doorstep. When I looked back I saw the knife, scissors and remainder of the tie.
“I took a photo on my phone. I was concerned so I let Tom know.
“I received a text from my brother when I got to Japan telling me to phone home immediately. I had no idea what had gone on at the time.”