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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

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Barrow man's stabbing - trial told how friendship had gone sour

A BAR worker, originally from Barrow, suspected his alleged killer had stolen from him.

Luke Hollingsworth had also fallen out with his former “best friend” Jamie Armstrong and called him a “mug” and “wannabe gangster”, Carlisle Crown Court heard.

Pub worker Mr Hollingsworth, 23, was discovered dead at his home in Etterby Lea Road, in Stanwix, Carlisle, on July 10 last year after suffering multiple stab wounds.

Armstrong, 21, of Warwick Road, Carlisle, denies killing him – claiming that the pair were attacked by two men demanding money and drugs.

The second day of his murder trial yesterday heard how Mr Hollingsworth believed Armstrong had stolen a safe containing cannabis from his home a few weeks earlier.

Mr Hollingsworth’s girlfriend, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, said he and Armstrong used to be best friends and had lived together.

But the woman believed they had fallen out some time in 2012.

She also revealed that former Furness Railway pub worker Mr Hollingsworth had borrowed about £600 from Armstrong to pay off a drug debt and had been paying him back gradually.

She said he had referred to Armstrong on his phone as “mug” and described him as a “wannabe gangster”.

She claimed Mr Hollingsworth had suspected Armstrong of stealing the safe as he was one of only a couple of people who knew about it and he “didn’t trust him”.

The woman also recalled how she discovered her boyfriend dead in his blood-splattered bathroom with Armstrong face down beside him.

The couple had spent the previous night together when Mr Hollingsworth had gone out to meet Armstrong.

She believed he had done this to sort something out to do with drugs as he didn’t want Armstrong coming to his home.

The woman found Mr Hollingsworth after going round to check on him because he had failed to turn up for work at the Woodrow Wilson pub in Botchergate that afternoon.

She described how Armstrong, who was bare-chested, came downstairs with his hands looking like they were “hanging off” and his movement was “sluggish”.

She asked him what he had done and said: “You’ve killed Luke.”

She said she didn’t know why he had been in the house because Mr Hollingsworth “wouldn’t have let him in”. The trial continues.

Mr Hollingsworth’s mother, Jill Hollingsworth, was the former landlady of the Furness Railway. He grew up in the town and still has relatives and friends living locally.

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