THE girlfriend of an alleged drug dealer accused of murdering a father over a £500 debt told a jury he and his mother made her lie to the police.

Lauren Hutchinson, now ex-partner of John Junior Phillips, admitted she misled murder squad detectives investigating the death of Anthony Winter because she was “scared”.

Cardiff Crown Court has heard how the father-of-one was allegedly lured to her flat in St Julians, Newport, and tortured, savagely beaten and attacked with a pair of scissors.

Prosecutor Christopher Clee QC has claimed Mr Winter was then taken to the St Mellons area of the Welsh capital where he was stabbed to death.

Phillips, aged 28, of Baird Close, Malpas, Newport, a 17-year-old boy and a 17-year-old girl, who cannot be named, both from Cardiff, are on trial for the murder of the 32-year-old.

Hutchinson, aged 19, of Munnings Drive, Newport, and the girl, have pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice.

A fifth defendant, 19-year-old James Jones, known as ‘Flames’, of Bedwas Close, St Mellons, has admitted murder.

Siobhan Grey QC, defending the 17-year-old boy, questioned Hutchinson about her first police interview, asking her: “You admit that statement was a pack of lies?”

She replied it was after first claiming she did not know how the defendants got to her flat in Munnings Drive.

Young mother Hutchinson had also said no one was taking any drugs at her home.

She told the jury these initial assertions were untrue and that Phillips and his mother had made her lie.

Miss Grey put it to her: “You were keeping John out of this first statement?”

She said: “Yeah.”

The defence barrister added: “Was the plan also to keep James, ‘Flames’, out of this statement too?”

Hutchinson replied: “No, all he (Phillips) said was to blame it on (the boy).”

Miss Grey continued: “Because of the pressure you were under you agreed to deliberately mislead the police investigation?”

The defendant answered: “Yes, because I was scared.”

Miss Grey asked: “Your aim was to keep John out of the question and pass the blame on to (the boy)?”

Hutchinson said: “Yeah.”

Mr Winter, who was from the Pentwyn area of Cardiff, was found covered in blood near Brookfield Drive in St Mellons just before 7.15am on Thursday, November 22, last year by a passing shopper.