A LANDLADY texted her tenant ordering him to get out of her flat the day before he was murdered, a court heard.

Kelly King took to the witness box today while on trial accused of murdering Courtney Valentine-Brown in Southend in February last year.

The 36-year-old was stabbed in a flat in Roots Hall Drive, Southend.

He later died from his injuries.

King and three others deny his murder.

A jury at Basildon Crown Court heard King had been trying to get Mr Valentine-Brown, along with flatmate Solmaz Sevket, to leave the Roots Hall Drive flat which belonged to her.

During questioning from her barrister, Riel Karmy-Jones, King admitted her partner Ian Slater, also charged, had wanted to go to the flat to “have a word” with the pair to force them to leave.

She also admitted to sending messages, asking them to leave.

Ms Karmy-Jones said: “On February 20 you sent a text to Courtney Valentine-Brown saying: ‘I can’t have you here anymore, you need to find somewhere else to go’.”

King replied: “That was my attempt to ask him to leave.

“I was on my way to STARS [Southend Treatment and Recovery Service] when I sent it because I needed to get off drugs and I wanted to find a centre where I could be taken out of the community to give myself the best chance of getting better.”

King denied intending to make any threat.

It was also revealed to the jury that King had sent £154 to Solmaz the night before the attack.

She transferred the money because she owed Mr Valentine-Brown and Solmaz for drugs she had taken from them.

King also stated she had put off Slater coming around to the flat for a day because she was “tired”.

She said: “I told Solmaz about me being with Ian [Slater] and she got angry. She said he was manipulative and was playing mind games with me.

“I was upset, I knew she wasn’t happy.”

King also made calls to Solmaz and Mr Valentine-Brown on the night he was stabbed, but claimed she did not know what the purpose of the calls were.

King, 30, of of Howards Close, Westcliff, Stuart Pearson, 43, of Satanita Road, Westcliff, Ian Slater, 50, of Wayletts, Leigh, and Alex Stephens, 36, of Hamlet Court Road in Westcliff, all deny the murder of Mr Valentine-Brown. The trial continues...