Teenagers deny joining violent attack which saw man stabbed 23 times and left for dead

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A TEENAGER has denied taking part in an assault which left a man with 23 stab wounds, saying the attack ‘frightened the life out of me’ and that he ‘just froze’.

The youth – who cannot be named for legal reasons – admitted being at the scene of the violence but told the Royal Court that he ‘didn’t touch’ the victim.

He and another teenager both deny charges of grave and criminal assault and affray. Another defendant, Alex Diogo Franca De Jesus (19), is charged with attempting to murder the man at Le Geyt estate in St Saviour on 9 January last year.

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

Giving evidence during the fifth day of the trial, the teenager told jurors that he had met the other Islanders without knowing what was going to happen.

Describing the assault, he said: ‘It frightened the life out of me. I had never seen anything like it before in my life. I didn’t know what to do. I just froze.’

The teenager said Mr De Jesus first rugby-tackled the 18-year-old victim and that the pair fell against a wall, which prevented them from hitting the ground.

He added: ‘I then saw Jayden with a knife. I saw the knife being swayed.’

Mr De Jesus previously admitted to the court that he had taken a knife with him for protection but claimed that Howard had snatched it out of his hand to stab the victim.

The teenager added that he saw the handle from Mr De Jesus’s knife as he took it from his pocket, but did not see him use the weapon.

The teenager said: ‘I didn’t hit him; I didn’t touch him. I wasn’t carrying anything and I had no idea what was happening.’

He said he and the other unnamed teenager fled the scene quickly and that he remembered asking ‘did that really just happen?’.

Advocate Ian Jones, defending, asked the teenager: ‘Did you have any intention of hurting [the victim]?’

He replied: ‘No, I did not.’

The court heard that Mr De Jesus owed the victim money for drugs and had agreed to meet him that night on the pretext of paying him.

The two teenagers and Howard were sitting behind a wall around the corner from where the victim and Mr De Jesus were to meet.

Crown Advocate Matthew Maletroit, prosecuting, asked: ‘Is it actually the case that Alex told you to wait there? Were you part of an ambush?’

He said: ‘No, I was not.’

The teenager added that he remained there during the attack ‘out of fear’.

The other unnamed teenager also gave evidence yesterday. He confirmed being at the bike sheds on the estate with the other three Islanders on the night in question and Advocate Chris Baglin, defending, asked him: ‘Did any of the boys discuss a fight?’

He said: ‘No.’

The advocate asked: ‘Did you hear anyone talk about knives?’

He again said ‘no’ and added that he left before he saw any weapons used.

The trial continues.

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