A MAN has gone on trial for murder accused of stabbing his friend in the chest following a row at his flat.

Paul Steven Pass, known as Steve, died from a single stab wound to his chest that was inflicted by his long-time friend Michael Hanlon, Winchester Crown Court was told.

The trial heard how police attended Mr Pass’s Lyndhurst flat after Hanlon activated an emergency alarm system telling the operator: “I have just stabbed someone, I have killed someone”.

When they opened the door they found Mr Pass in an armchair and a bloodied knife belonging to Hanlon lying on the floor, the trial heard.

William Mousley QC, prosecuting, told how the pair, both alcoholics, had become good friends and had lived in a tent together in Hythe.

However, when Mr Pass had an accident in late 2010 and went to hospital, the 54-year-old was rehoused to the flat at Robertshaw House in Foldsgate Close.

“When Hanlon found out he was angry and accused Mr Pass of having stabbed him in the back by getting somewhere to live without him,”

said Mr Mousley.

Hanlon had been staying with Mr Pass at the time of the incident on the evening of March 10 last year.

The court heard that earlier on the day of the stabbing Hanlon had been described as drunk and using threatening behaviour by people in the Lyndhurst Working Men’s Club.

Hanlon told police they had argued and Mr Pass had started swearing and pointing at him. He told them he could not remember anything after that until he saw Mr Pass sitting in his chair and thought at first he was asleep, the court heard.

Mr Mousley told the jury that Hanlon, 53, of Hobart Drive, Hythe, Southampton, has said he used the knife in self defence and had two scratches on his neck that the prosecution claim had been self-inflicted.

Mr Mousley said: “The prosecution case is that the killing was neither necessary or reasonable. He wasn’t lawfully defending himself.

“Although drunk he must have known what he was doing.”

Hanlon denies murder.