A LANDLADY recruited a gang of thugs who killed her tenant, a court heard.

Courtney Valentine-Brown died after a knife severed his femoral artery during an “eviction gone wrong”.

The jury, at Basildon Crown Court yesterday, heard the 36-year-old bled out at a flat on Roots Hall Drive.

Four deny his murder.

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Simon Spence QC, prosecuting, told the court the victim rented the flat from Kelly King, as did flatmate Solmaz Sevket.

The prosecution claimed King would regularly take drugs with Mr Valentine-Brown.

It is alleged that she owed him money for them and didn’t want to pay but instead wanted to get rid of him from the flat.

It is claimed, on February 22, King recruited three men to come and force him to leave.

Mr Spence told the jury: “Solmaz woke up to the noise of keys turning in the front door.

“She then heard screaming and banging.

“The door to her bedroom opened and she saw Kelly King standing there.

“She told her ‘I have had enough of all of you and I want you to leave’. “As she said that, Solmaz could here Courtney screaming.

“Ian Slater then appeared with what was either a baseball bat or pick axe.”

Mr Spence said Solmaz fled the flat after Slater struck her with the weapon on the ankle, hiding outside before the four emerged.

She stated they were laughing before they got in a car and left.

She returned to the flat to find Mr Valentine-Brown bleeding on the table with foam around his mouth and she called 999.

Tragically he could not be saved.

Mr Spence told the jury they would hear from a pathologist who concluded Mr Valentine-Brown was stabbed in the leg before the knife was twisted and he was stabbed again and the knife went right through.

The prosecution say they cannot be sure which of the defendants stabbed him, but that it “would not matter” as they all went with the purpose of causing him harm.

The court will also hear evidence from his flatmate.

Kelly King, 30, of Howards Close, Westcliff, Ian Slater, 49, of Wayletts, Leigh, Stuart Pearson, 43, of Satanita Road, Westcliff and Alex Stephens, 36, of Hamlet Court Road in Westcliff, have all been charged with his murder.

All deny murder.

The trial continues.