Two psychiatrists have disagreed over Jason Cooper’s mental state at the time he stabbed his former partner.

A psychiatrist called by the defence told the jury today that Cooper was suffering from an abnormality of mental functioning due to alcohol dependence syndrome.

Dr Kumar Mehta, a neuro psychiatrist it arose from a recognised medical condition.

But consultant forensic psychiatrist Dr Sandeep Matthews said that while Cooper had an alcohol dependence he said that he believed that the defendant knew what he was doing.

Both agreed that Cooper’s ability to understand the nature of his own conduct, was not significantly affected at the material time.

Cooper denies murdering Laura and wounding a man who was walking with her in a Denbigh street in the early hours of the morning last August.

Dr Mehta, called by defending barrister Patrick Harrington QC, said Cooper told how both he and Laura were heavy drinkers and it caused relationship problems. The defendant claimed she controlled him.

It was a very troubled relationship, he said.

They had split up on a couple of occasions and Laura would leave and it would “push his buttons”.

To prevent withdrawal symptoms he would have alcohol first thing in the morning.

There was a significant problem with his behaviour and mental functioning as a result of his use of alcohol, Dr Mehta said.

He was becoming more and more angry, having problems in his relationship, problems at work, he was not functioning very well, not eating properly, feeling poorly, and his entire lifestyle centred around alcohol use.

After his arrest he was given medication to stop the withdrawal symptoms from alcohol.

Asked about his mental state at the material time – he said Cooper not eating very well and on the day he had not eaten at all.

He was not sleeping very well. He only had a few hours of week. Without alcohol he would not be able to sleep at night. His mood had been affected significantly – he was very low.

All his interests revolved around alcohol and he had very low self-esteem and had feelings of hopelessness and helplessness.

There was no mania or psychosis but his symptoms were consistent with depression.

It was difficult to ascertain which came first the low mood or his use of alcohol.

That day, he drank all day. He returned home, started drinking again and was very emotional.

He had negative thoughts and became very angry, took hold of a knife and left the house intending to harm himself, and was wandering the streets.

Cooper told him how he came across Laura and a couple of other people by chance, got into an altercation but did not recall the stabbings.

Mr Harrington said that the jury would need to address the issue of diminished responsibility – a partial defence to a charge of murder which in certain circumstances could reduce the verdict to manslaughter.

The doctor said he believed that Cooper was suffering from an abnormality of mental functioning due to alcohol dependence syndrome.

He said that a detoxification programme in custody has worked.

David Elias QC, prosecuting, said that there had been no detoxification programme in prison and there were no complaints about excessive alcohol use in the GP records.

The doctor agreed that the defendant had not told him that on the Monday that he had been drinking orange juice in the RAF club and thought it was funny watching everyone else get drunk.

He said that would surprise him - Cooper had told him that he had not had any period of abstinence.

Asked if it changed his view at all, he said that it did to an extent and would affect his view of the level of the problem he had.

Mr Elias said it showed that he was making decisions and was in control.

The doctor agreed that having looked at all the evidence, he had concluded that it was more likely than not that Cooper’s ability to understand the nature of his own conduct, was not significantly affected at the material time.

Dr Sandeep Matthews, called by the prosecution, agreed Cooper met the criteria for alcohol dependence syndrome.

The defendant had not told him that days earlier he had been drinking alcohol – that showed he had the ability to stop drinking.

But in his view it could not be said that Cooper was suffering from an abnormality of mental functioning.

The text messages he had sent saying he had murdered Laura and would go away for a long time showed that he knew what he was doing.

He could operate a phone, send messages which made sense to the receiver and he was able to think clearly despite his intoxicated state.

Footage of his arrest from police body cam did not look as if he was heavily intoxicated.

“The conclusion I had was that he knew what he was doing,” he said.

He made significant statements in text messages and did not resist arrest.

The defendant had been able to form rational judgements which he believed meant there was no substantial impairment.

The prosecution say Cooper brutally stabbed his former partner with a kitchen knife after he lay in wait for her as she returned home from The Golden Lion and attacked a man who tried to protect her.

Cooper. 28 of St Hilary's Terrace, denies the murder of Laura Jayne Stuart, 33, and wounding David Roberts with intent to cause him GBH, in the early hours of August 12 last year.

The trial, before Mr Justice Simon Picken, is proceeding.

The evidence has now ended and the judge will give the jury his legal summing up on Tuesday afternoon.