Ian Tomlin was attacked with a baseball bat and left outside his flat to die, a murder trial heard this week.

Michael Swan, 46, of Enterprise Way, and Gary Beech, 48, who was Ian’s neighbour, have been in the dock this week as the murder trial began at The Old Bailey.

Opening the case on Tuesday, prosecutor Alexandra Healy QC said there was "a history of tension" between Mr Tomlin and the defendants in the run-up to the killing, with suggestions that the suspects dealt drugs in CCTV blindspots on the estate where they lived.

She said: "The Crown say Beech and Swan murdered Mr Tomlin. He was hit repeatedly on the head with a baseball bat. He was also stabbed a number of times in the neck."

CCTV from a building nearby, which looks on to Cromwell House where Tomlin lived, was played to the jury and appeared to show "a ruckus" on the first floor at around 5.30pm on October 17.

Ms Healy told jurors that evidence suggested Mr Tomlin returned home with shopping moments earlier, then grabbed a baseball bat and a bike chain from underneath his bed to confront Swan and Beech.

She said Swan, giving evidence to police following his arrest for murder, said he "knew the murderer" but would not name him, adding there had been cross words between the parties in the run-up to the death.

Ms Healy said: "Mr Swan described how the day before he was with his friends on the estate where they sell drugs.

"He said the deceased is a nasty man who he would clash with.”

The court heard that Swan told police there was an argument on the day Mr Tomlin died, and the latter returned to confront them armed with a "long chain and a large bat".

He told police the pair grappled on the floor before his "friend" began hitting Mr Tomlin with a bat.

Swan is said to have fled in a car, while Beech left the housing block temporarily before re-entering and going into his flat - a journey which would have taken him past the dying Mr Tomlin on the floor, the court heard.

Both men have denied murder as the trial continues.