A FATAL New Year’s party descended into a continuous argument as guests consumed more and more alcohol before a man was stabbed, a court heard.

Hannah Sindrey, 24, is accused alongside co-defendant Kelly Blackwell, 26, of killing Sindrey’s 31-year-old boyfriend Paul Fletcher.

He was stabbed through the heart at her home in Rayleigh in the early hours of New Year’s Day.

Both women deny the charges and blame each other for Mr Fletcher’s death.

Mr Fletcher, who also went by "Dod", had become enraged with his pregnant fiancé, Sindrey, who was sneaking drinks and smoking behind his back, the court heard.

Giving evidence, Sindrey’s father Paul said he had only seen his daughter open one can of beer but prosecutors said she had been drinking far more.

The party was attended by five adults, Sindrey, Blackwell, Paul Sindrey, Mr Fletcher and his friend Paul Carter.

Six children, all aged five or younger, were also at Sindrey’s flat in Worcester Drive – two of them Sindrey’s children and four Blackwell’s.

The drinking began at about 6pm after Mr Fletcher arrived at the party with a bottle of whiskey, 24 cans of cranberry and vodka, some beer, some blueberry vodka, and soft drinks, Paul Sindrey told jurors.

Before long, Mr Fletcher’s behaviour became controlling and aggressive, Mr Sindrey told the court.

“Things were fine to start off with and gradually it got worse and worse as little comments were being said,” he said.

“Paul Fletcher and my daughter, they were nitpicking, he said she spent too much and the place wasn’t tidy enough.”

Mr Sindrey, who left the party at about 11pm when he could no longer stand the toxic environment, told of how Mr Fletcher had become paranoid his daughter was using her phone to contact other men.

“He was following her around and trying to listen to hear whether she was getting any phone calls,” he said.

“Obviously it did affect the atmosphere. I was fed up with it, I could see where it was going.”

Mr Sindrey says he did not learn of Mr Fletcher’s death until the next morning, when he awoke to calls from his other daughter.

The trial continues.