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Two men accused of fatal stabbing fled to Ireland after killing, court is told

On September 22 the defendants travelled to Northern Ireland by ferry and then from there on to the Republic of Ireland

Stabbing victim Ryan Fitzpatrick

Neil FetherstonhaughSunday World

Two men who are on trial for the fatal stabbing of another man in the UK fled to Ireland after the killing, a court has heard.

Both men Kane Hull (29) and Liam Porter (33) acted together with a "joint plan" to knife Ryan Kirkpatrick to death outside a bar, Carlisle Crown Court was told.

Kirkpatrick (24) died at the scene of the stabbing in Carlisle, Cumbria, on September 18, 2021.

The jury was told there had been "bad blood" and "a history" between Mr Hull and Mr Kirkpatrick with a "short fight" taking place at Carlyle's Court bar.

Mr Hull and Mr Porter Hull, who both deny murder and manslaughter, then left in a blue Volvo S40.

However, they returned 15 minutes later wearing dark clothing and with their faces covered as they pulled up in the car, with Mr Hull carrying a knife "clearly visible" on CCTV and stabbing his victim multiple times.

The prosecution said the defendants then fled in the Volvo following the attack at the bar, off Fisher Street.

"Tragically, despite the best efforts of his friends, and then the police and then paramedics, Mr Kirkpatrick was pronounced dead at Carlyle's Court at 9.22pm," prosecutor Tim Evans said.

He alleged the stabbing "was at the hand of Hull" - who was said to have been identified despite his disguise attempt - and that Mr Porter was there "as a party to, supporting the plan to stab Mr Kirkpatrick".

"They were, in other words, in it together," said Mr Evans.

"They came to the bar together with the joint plan that Ryan Kirkpatrick was to be stabbed."

Jurors heard the Volvo was found burnt out near Burgh-by-Sands, north-west of Carlisle, soon after the incident.

Mr Evans told the court the pair "took significant steps to evade the police" including changing their phones several times, checking into new addresses and using different vehicles.

On September 22 the defendants travelled to Northern Ireland by ferry and then from there on to the Republic of Ireland.

Their 'flight', said Mr Evans, ended ten days after the murder, on September 28, when the defendants were arrested in the Republic of Ireland and, after an extradition process, they were brought back to the UK.

Earlier in the trial, Mr Evans had outlined the background to the fatal stabbing on the evening of Saturday, September 18 last year.

Mr Kirkpatrick had been to a christening at Wreay village, south of Carlisle. After this, he went with friends to Carlyle’s Court in the city centre to continue socialising.

While he was there, Mr Kirkpatrick was twice confronted by two men.

During the first encounter, the barrister said that Hull, who was with Porter, had tried to assault Mr Kirkpatrick with a glass. Fifteen minutes later came the second confrontation, involving two men who had their faces covered.

The prosecution say the two men were Hull and Porter, and that there was 'powerful' evidence to justify that link, including clothing which showed the men in both confrontations were the same people. It was during this second confrontation, the court heard, that Mr Kirkpatrick was fatally stabbed.

Opening the case, Mr Evans told the jury: “Focusing first on the murder, although the fatal stabbing was at the hand of Kane Hull, Liam Porter was there, a party to and supporting the plan to stab him.”

Describing the first incident in Carlyle’s Court on the evening of the stabbing, Mr Evans said that Hull arrived there after leaving the Royal Scot pub in Morton, Carlisle, and met up with Porter.

“Hull can be seen on CCTV to pick up a glass, throw its contents out and walk towards Ryan Kirkpatrick, following which there is a short fight, which takes place off the CCTV camera footage,” said the barrister.

Hull and Porter then left the area in a blue Volvo S40, the court heard. Tragically, said Mr Evans, that incident was not the end of it.

He continued: “About 15 minutes later, what the Crown say is plainly the Volvo comes back and two men get out.

“Both are wearing dark clothing – and some items are identical to those worn by Hull and Porter just 15 minutes earlier. But both this time have their faces covered.

“The first male – who the Crown say you can be sure is Kane Hull – is carrying a knife, clearly visible on the CCTV. Kane Hull runs directly up to Ryan Kirkpatrick and stabs him multiple times.”

The two men then fled, leaving in the blue Volvo, said Mr Evans. Despite the best efforts of his friends and then the police and paramedics, Ryan Kirkpatrick died of his injuries at 9.22pm.

Later that evening, said Mr Evans, the blue Volvo which was used by the men was found burning in the Burgh area.

“Before Ryan Kirkpatrick had even been pronounced dead, [the defendants’] car was ablaze and no clothing of the sort worn on the night has ever been recovered,” said Mr Evans.

Hull, of no fixed address, and Porter, of Fulmar Place, Carlisle, both also deny an alternative allegation of manslaughter.

The trial continues.

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