A youth admitted stabbing an entrepreneur and budding male model in the heart but claimed it was self-defence, a court heard.
The 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, and 21-year-old Aaron Kahrod have denied murdering James Brindley, 26, in an altercation in Aldridge, near Walsall, West Midlands, on June 23 last year.
Mr Brindley had been fatally wounded in a 35-second gap between two phone calls from his Manchester-based girlfriend Lauren, at 11.42pm.
Opening the case, Prosecutor Jonas Hankin QC said witnesses had seen shoving and one of the defendants push two arms towards the Aldridge man’s chest – forcing him to stagger backwards.
Despite the youth’s admission that he stabbed Mr Brindley, he, and Kahrod, of Walsall Road, Aldridge, pleaded not guilty to murder, with the latter denying “any unlawful part in the incident”.
to dispose of any evidence after the stabbing.
Mr Hankin told the jury: “(The 17-year-old) admits stabbing Mr Brindley but says it was in self-defence.
“Following the stabbing, the 17-year-old’s first thought was to immediately dispose of evidence. It occurred to the 17-year-old to dispose of his clothing.”
The jury then heard that a surgical face mask was found in the youth’s coat, which he left on top of a bin.
Mr Hankin said the post-mortem confirmed a blade had “passed through the sternum and caused a fatal injury to the heart”.
Reading through witness accounts of the incident, Mr Hankin continued: “The stockier of the two defendants shouted ‘come on then’, aggressively towards the man on the pavement.
“He shouted it aggressively as if he was calling him to fight.”
Passers-by had performed first-aid “admirably” by fetching napkins from a nearby restaurant to place on the wound, but Mr Brindley was pronounced dead at 1.05am the following morning, Mr Hankin said.
Medical experts had performed open-heart surgery on Mr Brindley on the pavement shortly before his death.
The youth claimed Mr Brindley had fallen on to the knife and that the incident was a “terrible accident”.
The court heard the 17-year-old had admitted he and Kahrod had a knife at the time of the stabbing.
However, the pair had claimed Mr Brindley was the aggressor, attempting to slash the teenager as he moved towards them.
In the prosecution opening, the jury was told the defendants ran from the scene because they were “afraid” Mr Brindley would call his friends.
Mr Hankin said the youth claimed he had acted in self-defence and in the defence of Kahrod.
Both defendants prepared statements for police interviews which said: “I can state I was not involved in the murder of James Brindley.”
But in a conversation with another person which was covertly recorded by police, the 17-year-old admitted he and Kahrod had teased Mr Brindley.
In the conversation, the youth said: “We both had knives.
“If we say the truth we are just going to get done.
“We made a joke about his girl, he came over and one of us pulled out a thingy – thinking that he would run away.
“He went into me and ran off. He was running away. We saw blood on the knife.”
In his first defence statement, the youth claimed Mr Brindley had targeted the pair with a “karate-style” kick and that the part-time gym worker had brought the knife to the scene.
But in an amended second statement, the 17-year-old admitted he brought the knife and that he carried one around “for protection”.