Murder trial: Teenage drug runner gives his account of what happened when he fatally stabbed a man in a Leamington flat
The defendant said he was acting in self defence when he claims three men tried to stab him
The teenage drug runner who fatally stabbed 17-year-old Nasir Patrice has been giving a jury his account of what happened when three youths burst into a Leamington flat.
The defendant, who was 16 at the time, told the jury at Warwick Crown Court he was attacked and stabbed before jabbing out with his own knife to defend himself.
Nasir suffered serious chest wounds during the incident in the flat in Tachbrook Road, Leamington, in January last year and collapsed and died from his injuries in the street outside.
The youth, now 17, from Lewisham, London, who cannot be named because of his age, has pleaded not guilty to Nasir’s murder and the attempted murder of Abdul Moustapha, who was stabbed to his abdomen.
The jury has heard that the background to the incident was a clash between rival drug dealers, and Natasha Owen allowed the defendant and two others to use her flat as a base.
And the defence case is that the defendant had been ‘set up’ to be robbed by Nasir, Mr Moustapha and a third man when they pushed their way in on the morning of January 15, and was acting in self-defence.
Giving evidence, the defendant said he had spent the night at the flat, and when he woke Miss Owen was out, although a homeless man she allowed to stay, Christopher Galvin, was there.
In response to questions from his barrister Adam Davis QC, he said he had tried to call her a number of times before the buzzer to the flat went off.
He said: “I was on the corner of the bed, and the buzzer went. I was going to answer it, but Christopher Galvin stopped me and said ‘that’s not her ring.’”
The defendant agreed and he then called Miss Owen four more times without getting through, and Mr Davis said call logs then showed Mr Galvin getting a text from her saying ‘Open the door.’
Asked what then happened, the defendant said: “At this point I sat down on the corner of the bed, and the buzzer rang two more times, and Galvin goes to answer the door.”
He said the door to the room where he was sitting was half-closed, so he could not see the main door.
“Galvin opened the main door and I heard running. It sounded like a stampede, and I was approached by someone with a Rambo knife. He looked at me, and I looked at him.
“This was a split second, and he tried to swing at me. I put my legs up to try to defend myself, and he caught me with the knife to my left thigh.
“The kitchen door was open, and the knife I had was leant by the radiator.”
He agreed it was ‘a big knife,’ which, doing what he did, he said he always had with him in case of such situations, and he managed to reach for it.
Asked what happened next, he said: “I took it out of the scabbard. I got the knife out. He tried to swing his knife at me, and at this point I swung the knife at him.
“The knife connected with him. I felt it connect. He tried to knife me again, and I tried to swing back at him again. He tried to swing again, and missed again.
“I swung again. I connected. I move back a bit, but he’s still coming at me.”
Asked whether he knew where he had ‘connected,’ he replied: “No, but I knew it was the upper body.
“Someone else leaned over the first person, and I swung at him, to the upper body.
“I had dropped to the floor with the knife in my hand. They were both trying to attack me.
“As they’re trying to attack me I’m jabbing the knife. It was a life death situation, I’m thinking I’m going to be stabbed.”
Mr Davis asked: “When you connected with Patrice with the knife, why did you do that?” He answered: “Because he was attacking me.”
He continued: “I was jabbing out upwards, and I felt it connect with the second person.
“As I am jabbing, someone’s trying to grab hold of the knife to yank it off me. I’m still pulling it and jabbing it, and when they let go I still had the knife in my hand.
“One of them has turned round and went off, and the other one is still there and coming at me. I’m still jabbing at him with the knife, and he turns round and I keep jabbing.”
Earlier the jury heard that Nasir had two significant deep wounds to his chest, one of which had gone through his body, and two other wounds inflicted from behind, as well as ‘defensive’ cuts to his hands.
The defendant said that after they had run from the flat, he had looked for his phone, but could not find it, and had then also left with his knife down his trousers.
He said it was ‘a complete lie’ that he had smirked as he passed the group surrounding Nasir, who had collapsed outside.
He said his leg was ‘pumping’ as he ran up the road before going into a shop where he asked the shopkeeper to call a taxi for him to take him back to the guesthouse in Warwick where he and three companions had been staying.
Earlier in the trial Mr Moustapha gave evidence in which he said he was a friend of Nasir’s and that they had spent the night in Leamington.
But when asked by Michael Burrows QC, prosecuting, whether they had gone into the flat, he replied: “I dunno.”
He said he could not remember exactly what had happened, but that he had got injured – but when asked how he had come by the injury, he responded: “I don’t feel comfortable answering that question.”
Mr Moustapha agreed he was interviewed by the police and had given them an account of what happened, but when asked by Mr Burrows whether he had told them the truth, he said: “I would rather not answer that.”
And when Mr Davis put to him that they had been drug-dealing and had been armed when they went into the flat, he responded: “Prove it.”
The trial continues.