A man was stabbed to death on the Kingsnympton estate last June after he "goaded" his lover's ex-boyfriend with boasts about their relationship, a court heard today.

Electrical engineer Colin Bolton, 28, "had been trying to humiliate" Andrew Nichols, 45, after he began a relationship with Michelle Dooley, the Old Bailey heard earlier today.

Mr Bolton, who lived in Sheephouse Way, Old Malden, had posted on Facebook about his relationship with Miss Dooley days before the incident on June 10.

Mr Nichols admits inflicting the injuries which led Mr Bolton to bleed to death but denies murder, the court has been told.

Defence barrister Lewis Power QC said Mr Bolton, who lived in Fordham, in Excelsior Close, on the Cambridge Estate, "goaded" Mr Nichols in the days before.

He said: "Colin was boasting to Andy that he had secured a relationship with Michelle. He was lording it over him."

Miss Dooley told the court she was “mad” with Mr Bolton after he phoned Mr Nichols with the news.

She said: "I wanted to tell him myself but Colin got there first. He told Andy on the phone and I wanted to tell him face to face."

The court heard Miss Dooley had been discharged from Kingston Hospital on the day of the attack after an overdose.

Another witness, Roger Thornton, also an ex-boyfriend of Michelle Dooley and who had two children with her, in whose Kingsnympton estate flat Mr Bolton died, said he "got that impression" that Mr Bolton was a practical joker.

He said: "Colin was a joker. He was a person who liked to have fun. It’s just the way he puts himself."

Mr Thornton, who has known Mr Nichols since their school days, also described the prelude to the attack in the lounge of his flat.

He said: "When he first came everything was fine. There was no indication of trouble.

"He came back into the lounge and sat down.

"Andy was sitting down at first. He was walking up and down for a bit. He started getting a little bit agitated.

"Colin didn't say anything to Andy, to my knowledge, to wind Andy up."

As Mr Thornton left the lounge to get a cup of tea he heard Mr Nichols ask Mr Bolton: "Why did you put it on Facebook?"

When he returned he found Mr Nichols on top of Mr Bolton, the court heard.

He said: "He was a totally different person to what I have known. I have seen Andy angry before."

He pulled Mr Nichols off Mr Bolton by the arm, he said.

Mr Nichols accepts inflicting the injuries on Mr Bolton, Mr Power said, but denies murder.

Mr Bolton, who had lived in Ham previously and attended Richmond College, died outside the flat in the evening.

The trial continues.