A cannabis user who stabbed, strangled and ran over his partner during a psychotic episode has been cleared of murder after admitting manslaughter.
Jake Notman inflicted more than 30 stab wounds on 25-year-old university student Lauren Bloomer after eating a cannabis brownie at their home in Bingley Avenue, Tamworth, Staffordshire, in the early hours of Friday November 20 last year.
The 27-year-old car factory worker denied murdering Miss Bloomer, claiming he did not form the necessary intent due to his mental state.
Notman pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter on Wednesday – the sixth day of his trial at Stafford Crown Court – after prosecutors decided to offer no further evidence on an allegation of murder.
The trial heard that Miss Bloomer “recorded her own murder” on a mobile phone after seeking advice on the internet about the “bad weed trip” suffered by Notman.
Opening the case last week, prosecutor Deborah Gould told jurors Miss Bloomer had activated her phone to record what was happening “like something out of the movie Scream”.
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: “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 Miss Bloomer was 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.”
Notman was then heard saying “I am going to make sure” before the sound of a revving engine was heard.
A thud was then recorded by the victim’s phone as Notman’s Ford Kuga was being driven over her.
The defendant, who worked for Jaguar Land Rover in Solihull, 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.
He then dialled 999 at 1.32am, telling the operator he had “been told I have killed my girlfriend”.
Notman 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.
Defence barrister Andrew Fisher QC 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”.
Explaining the Crown’s decision to offer no evidence on the count of murder, prosecution QC Ben Douglas-Jones said three psychiatrists instructed to assess Notman had decided he could not have formed the intent necessary to prove the charge.
Mr Douglas-Jones told the court: “All three experts agree that on the evidence, including the recording, the defendant’s psychiatric reaction to cannabis is of such profundity that he could not discern what was real and what was not.
“In particular he could not discern whether Lauren Bloomer was alive or dead, or real or not. In other words, he could not discern whether or not he was with another human being.
“The Crown has reviewed the evidence at a high level within the CPS and has concluded with careful reflection that it is not possible to continue with the murder charge.”
Notman is expected to be sentenced later on Wednesday.