THE trial of a man accused of murdering a Hereford father began today.

Stacy Hales, aged 36, of Belmont Road, Hereford, appeared before Worcester Crown Court accused of the murder of Steven Paynter.

Hales denies the murder of the 46-year-old, who was found dead in a house in Ryelands Street, Whitecross, Hereford, on August 3 last year.

Also in court was Kim Horry, 20, who stands accused of assisting an offender, which she denies.

Philip James Bennetts QC, prosecuting, told the jury how Mr Paynter, also known as ‘Taff’ or ‘Taffy’ to friends, was found dead on the first floor of the bedsit in Ryelands Street where he lived.

The cause of death was a stab wound to the left side of the neck, resulting in "massive, fatal blood loss".

He said that Hales inflicted the wound after going round to see Mr Paynter about money that was owed to him.

Mr Bennetts said that Hales began strangling Mr Paynter before Mr Paynter drew a knife.

Hales then grabbed Mr Paynter’s hand and pushed the knife into his neck, the court heard.

Hales, the jury was told, maintains that Mr Paynter attacked him and that he was defending himself.

The trial is due to resume tomorrow.