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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Cannabis brownie ‘bad trip’ led man to stab, strangle and run over girlfriend, court told

A cannabis brownie triggered a psychotic episode in a man who stabbed, strangled and ran over his girlfriend, a court has heard.

Jake Notman, 27, stabbed his girlfriend, Lauren Bloomer, 25, more than 30 times in an attack, which was recorded on her phone in November last year. 

Mr Notman denies murdering Ms Bloomer at their home in Tamworth, Staffordshire, claiming he did not form the necessary intent due to his mental state. 

Opening the case for the prosecution at his trial at Stafford Crown Court on Wednesday, Deborah Gould told jurors Miss Bloomer had activated her telephone to record what was happening “like something out of the movie Scream”.

She was attacked shortly after looking on the internet for advice on how to deal with a “bad weed trip”, the court heard.

Audio captures moments ‘leading up to murder’

Describing what could be seen or heard on the near-17-minute recording, which began when the couple were in a bedroom, Ms Gould told the court: “The audio captured the moments leading up to, including and after the murder.

“It shows the defendant as he began to attack Lauren Bloomer, at first with his bare hands.

“She was just trying to care for him in this state of being disordered through cannabis.

“At the start of the recording you will hear her laughing and the defendant accusing her of laughing at him.”

Notman, the jury heard, became aggressive nine minutes into the recording, around a minute before Lauren is heard saying “please help me” to his aunt in a call on a second phone.

Ms Gould added: “Something no doubt in the defendant’s behaviour prompted Lauren to start recording on that mobile phone.

“The audio recorded Lauren’s screams and it recorded her calls for help.”

During the recording, the court was told, Notman could be heard shouting “I will never f—— see you again.”

Notman, the court heard, was then heard saying, “I am going to make sure”, before the sound of a revving engine is heard.

A thud was then recorded by the victim’s phone, which the Crown says was the sound of Notman’s Ford Kuga being driven over Miss Bloomer.

Neighbours saw man run over girlfriend, court hears

The defendant, who worked for Jaguar Land Rover at its Solihull site, was seen by neighbours as he ran over his partner’s body, and took no steps to help her before heading back into their house, it was alleged.

He is then said to have dialled 999 at 1.32am, telling the operator he had “been told I have killed my girlfriend”.

Notman, Ms Gould said, had made no comment in five police interviews, instead providing a statement suggesting the cannabis brownie – the first he had ever consumed – had something in it other than cannabis.

Telling the court three psychiatrists had assessed Notman’s “disordered” behaviour, Ms Gould said it was believed he had suffered an adverse reaction.

But she told the jury: “It does not provide a defence in law.

“A disordered intention caused by self-induced ingestion of an intoxicant is as good as a sober intention.

“You can infer that the defendant intended to kill Lauren or cause her really serious injury from the fact that he beat her, tried to strangle her … and sought out a knife and used it to attack Lauren for a second time.

“You can infer it from what he said before he drove the car over her.”

The psychiatrists in the case agree Notman was experiencing a psychotic episode, the jury heard.

Ms Gould said Notman has claimed he believed he was dead and that in order to come back to life he had to kill his partner.

At the conclusion of her opening speech, Ms Gould told the jury: “His disordered intention was self-induced as a result of the voluntary consumption of cannabis.”

Alleging Notman had either intended to kill or cause really serious harm, Ms Gould said: “If you find he did so… he is guilty of murder.

“The prosecution case is that this was a clear case of a defendant who had a self-induced disordered intention to kill.”

Defence barrister Andrew Fisher QC also made a brief address to the jury at the start of the trial, saying Notman had suffered an “extreme florid psychiatric episode in the course of which he totally lost touch with reality and became wholly delusional”.

The trial continues.

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