Harrogate murder trial: chilling evidence of 'frenzied stabbing with knife' heard on first day at Leeds Crown court

Harrogate murder suspect Daniel Ainsley killed his flatmate after stabbing him 15 times in a frenzied attack, the prosecution has claimed in court.

Tuesday, 19th October 2021, 12:49 pm
Ainsley, 24, attacked 48-year-old Mark Wolsey with a kitchen knife at the home they shared in Mayfield Grove in Harrogate, prosecutor Mark McKone told Leeds Crown Court.

Ainsley, 24, attacked 48-year-old Mark Wolsey with a kitchen knife at the home they shared in Mayfield Grove in Harrogate, prosecutor Mark McKone told Leeds Crown Court.

Mr Wolsey was pronounced dead at the scene after police swooped on the property at about 10pm on March 5.

The discovery of Mr Wolsey’s body followed a somewhat bizarre and chilling series of incidents in the hours leading up to the savage attack.

Prosecutor Mark McKone said that earlier in the evening police had been called to the flat after a neighbour heard shouting and arguing coming from the property.

Officers arrived and could hear two men “shouting at each other” as they entered the flat. They found Mr Wolsey and Ainsley inside.

Ainsley was asked to leave the flat, said Mr McKone.

He told a police constable that he had lost some medication but when officers looked, they could not find any.

They took Ainsley to Harrogate District Hospital’s A&E department to get him the medication or help he needed.

Mr McKone said there was “no sense of disturbance” inside the flat at that point and no visible injuries to anyone.

However, Mr Wolsey made it clear that he “did not wish for (Ainsley) to remain (at the flat)”.

On arrival at hospital, police told Ainsley – who had lit a cigarette inside the back of the police van on the way to A&E – not to go back to the flat.

PC Ross Baldwin, one of the officers who took Ainsley to hospital, said he returned to Knaresborough Police Station but “at some stage later” he received an alert from the police control room that Ainsley had called to say he had stabbed someone.

Ainsley was arrested in Mayfield Grove after officers found Mr Wolsey’s body in the flat.

Mr Wolsey was said to have been stabbed nine times in the torso and six times in the upper arm. He died of the stab wounds to his torso.

Ainsley was “compliant” during his arrest and told officers it was he who had called 999.

He was taken to Harrogate Police Station where he told officers: “All I wanted was my medication, but he would not give it to me.”

It was clear that by “he”, he meant Mr Wolsey.

A chilling audio recording of Ainsley’s phone call to police following the stabbing and CCTV footage of his movements from the time he left hospital to returning to the flat, were shown to the court.

The video footage, collated from various cameras near the town centre, showed Ainsley leaving the hospital with a bag or black bin liner from which he pulled out a long-sleeved top, which he put on.

He appeared to make a call on his mobile phone and then walked towards Knaresborough Road, down Park View and Kingsway onto Bower Street.

He then turned down Haywra Street and went into the Asda store on Bower Road, where he headed straight to the aisle where kitchen knives were on display.

He took a box of kitchen knives from the shelves and bought it at the self-service check-out using a bank card.

He then left the store with the knives and was walking down the side of the supermarket where he stopped next to a litter bin and opened the box of knives. He took one of the knives out and stuffed it down the waistband of his trousers.

He then walked down Bower Road towards Mayfield Grove. Just before 10pm, a convenience store’s CCTV cameras captured Ainsley walking along Mayfield Grove and then, seven minutes later, he called 999 to say that he had killed Mr Wolsey.

The call to the police operator, which was played in court, was chilling in the extreme.

Ainsley can be heard telling the operator: “I need you to come and arrest me.”

When the operator asks Ainsley what his name is, he shouts it down the phone and bellows: “I just killed someone! Yeah, I stabbed him to death.”

When the operator asks him who has been stabbed, Ainsley replies: “A so-called friend.”

When she asks him who had been killed, Ainsley said, in no uncertain terms, that it was his “fxxxxxx” flatmate and began shouting out the letters of the victim’s surname.

Ainsley, whose speech appeared slurred, told the operator: “I’m outside the house. He’s inside.”

When the operator asked him if he was in a bedsit, Ainsley replied: “He is. I’m not; I’m fxxxxxx homeless.”

When the operator asked him where the knife was, Ainsley replied chillingly: “Inside him!”

Ainsley, of no fixed address, denies murder.

The trial continues.