January 25, 2022 1.49 pm

Boston murder trial: Victim’s mum tells court of ‘violence’ and ‘bickering’ between couple

The victim was diagnosed with autism and ADHD

The mother of a man who was allegedly stabbed to death by his partner told a jury the couple would “bicker a lot”

Charlie Stevenson, 21, is alleged to have deliberately stabbed Christopher Higgs, also 21, with a kitchen knife at her home in Portland Street, Boston.

Mr Higgs, from Spalding, was found with a single stab wound to his heart after Ms Stevenson called the ambulance service to her property on July 14.

His mother, Jody Manchester, today (Tuesday) gave evidence from the witness box at Lincoln Crown Court.

Police investigating an alleged murder at the property on Portland Street, Boston. | Photo: David Dawson

She told the jury Christopher had an older brother called Charlie, and two sisters called Paris and Paige.

He grew up in Surrey, and was diagnosed with ADHD and then autism when he was 12.

“He relied very heavily on routine, things could not change,” Ms Manchester added. “He was also fussy about clothes and food.”

The jury heard Christopher was taken into care at the age of 12, but still had regular contact with his mother, seeing her six times a year.

Mr Higgs later decided to return to his family, and undertook a carpentry course, before meeting Ms Stevenson in 2018.

Officers in boiler suits at the scene of the incident. | Photo: David Dawson

Ms Manchester said: “Sometimes they were alright, but they did bicker a lot.”

Asked by prosecution barrister Christopher Donnellan QC, if she saw injuries to Christopher during his time with Charlie, Ms Manchester replied: “Yes.”

When asked by Mr Donnellan what the injuries were, Ms Manchester stated: “Black eyes, scratches down his neck, and a lot of the time his clothes were ripped.”

Ms Manchester said she had regular conversations with the couple on Facetime after they had a baby.

But Ms Manchester told the jury she did witness one incident at her home in Surrey where Ms Stevenson punched Christopher who responded by pulling her hair.

Ms Manchester said she told Christopher “to let go”, and Ms Stevenson picked up a kitchen dish which was taken off her by one of Christopher’s sisters.

The jury heard Mr Higgs was moving backwards and forwards from Surrey to his brother’s home in Spalding, while Ms Stevenson and their child were living in Boston.

Ms Manchester admitted she was aware Christopher should not have been staying at the house in Portland Street because of a bail condition from an incident involving Ms Stevenson.

The defence argue Mr Higgs could also be violent towards Ms Stevenson.

Under cross-examination from James Newtown-Price QC, defending Ms Stevenson, Ms Manchester replied: “I have never seen it, but it is possible.”

Ms Manchester admitted she was aware of occasions where Mr Higgs was alleged to have assaulted Ms Stevenson.

She accepted there was also one occasion where she had to call the police after Mr Higgs became violent towards her partner.

When asked about the level of violence between the couple, Ms Manchester replied: “It was equal.”

She also accepted Mr Higgs would regularly use cannabis.

Charlie Stevenson, 21, of Portland Street, Boston, denies murder on July 14, 2021. The trial continues.


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