Attempted-murder accused says knife snatched from him

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A 19-YEAR-OLD accused of attempted murder has claimed that another teenager was solely responsible for the attack, having snatched a knife out of his hand to stab the victim.

Alex Diogo Franca De Jesus told jurors in the Royal Court that he ‘wasn’t going to let him [the victim] die’ and fetched the man’s mobile phone so he could call an ambulance.

Mr De Jesus is charged with attempted murder, while two other teenagers, who cannot be named, are charged with grave and criminal assault and affray. All three deny the charges.

An 18-year-old man, Jayden Howard, has already admitted attempted murder and is not involved in the trial.

Mr De Jesus, giving evidence on the fourth day of the trial, admitted that he had punched the victim but said that it was only Howard who had wielded a knife.

The victim was stabbed more than 20 times in the back and had to be flown to Southampton Hospital to have part of a blade removed from his spine. He is said to have suffered ‘life-changing’ injuries.

Mr De Jesus said that he, Howard and the two unnamed teenagers met the victim at the bike sheds on Le Geyt estate in St Saviour on the night of 9 January last year but had no intention of killing him.

He admitted that he owed the victim money for drugs and had taken a knife with him – but insisted it was for his own protection.

Mr De Jesus said he had punched the victim three times and added: ‘Jayden lunged at him at the same time.’

The victim fell to the ground, Mr De Jesus said, adding: ‘He said, “Stop, stop. I can’t feel my legs”.’

Mr De Jesus said that he had taken his own knife out of his pocket to protect himself and told the court that ‘as I was holding the knife Jayden just took it out of my hands’.

Mr De Jesus added: ‘I didn’t know what was happening. I believe it was because his knife had broken.’

In August, Mr De Jesus pleaded guilty to the lesser charges of grave and criminal assault and possessing an offensive weapon. He told the court yesterday that he stood by those pleas.

Advocate Rebecca Morley-Kirk, defending, asked him: ‘Did you stab the victim at any time?’

He replied: ‘No, I did not.’

She asked: ‘Did you at any time intend to kill him?’

He again said: ‘No, I did not.’

The court also heard messages that Mr De Jesus had sent on the secure messaging app Telegram, in which he said: ‘It wasn’t meant to get that bad, but someone went at him with a blade. I’m pretty sure the blade snapped in his back.’

The advocate said: ‘We know there were 23 stab wounds. Did you know that at the time?’

He said: ‘I did not, no.’

Mr De Jesus admitted that he had regularly bought cannabis from the victim and said when he was unable to pay a £1,500 drug debt the victim threatened to kill him, his family and his girlfriend.

The defendant said he had not reported the threats to the police because he hoped for a career as a police officer and the admission of cannabis use would disqualify him.

The trial continues.

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