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Retrial starts of two men accused of murdering Darren Moorhouse from Honley

Jury hears of fatal stab wound to the heart in row over a television

Darren Moorhouse

A 49-year-old Honley man died from a fatal stab wound to the heart after a row over a television erupted into violence at a Halifax flat earlier this year.

Darren Moorhouse was allegedly kicked in the head by one of his attackers even after he lay dying on the half-landing at the block of flats in Athol Close, Ovenden, in January.

A jury at Bradford Crown Court heard yesterday that Dale Dwyer, 26, who carried out the stabbing, and his co-accused 34-year-old Christopher Churchill both claimed they were acting in self defence during the incident.

The case is a retrial and is expected to last two weeks.

Athol Close, Halifax

Dwyer, of Alam Street, Buxton, later told police that he had “lashed out” with the knife when he was trapped and being attacked.

But prosecutor Dafydd Enoch QC told the jury that it was Churchill who had initially armed himself with the knife during the fight and he had then given it to Dwyer.

“This case is a classic illustration of how if you introduce at knife into a fight situation it will end in tragedy,” he told the court.

Mr Enoch said it was “two onto one” and both defendants punched and bit Mr Moorhouse during the incident which began when Churchill went to the flat of his former partner to collect some belongings including two televisions.

The jury heard how Mr Moorhouse intervened in a fight between Churchill and his ex-partner Kate Longshaw over one of the televisions, but the disturbance then continued down the stairs and into the communal area of the flats where the fatal stabbing took place.

Mr Enoch said Mr Moorhouse had tried to defend himself with a rather flimsy telescope, but when Dwyer stabbed him in the heart it was “a deliberate downward thrust into the chest”.

“Mr Churchill then kicked or punched, we say kicked, Mr Moorhouse in the head repeatedly as he lay dying from the stab wound which had been inflicted by Mr Dwyer,” alleged Mr Enoch.

“They say they were defending themselves from him (Mr Moorhouse) but they were not.”

Bradford Crown Court

Mr Enoch said the stabbing of someone in the chest was unnecessary and disproportionate, adding: ”It was not an accident. It was deliberate.”

Churchill, who had previously been living at Athol Close, and Dwyer have both denied the murder charge and the jury were told by the Recorder of Bradford Judge Jonathan Durham Hall that the case was a re-trial which could last about two weeks.

The jury heard that although the two defendants initially left the block of flats they later returned to the injured Mr Moorhouse and were seen making attempts to save him after a 999 call had been made to the emergency services.

Mr Enoch said the jury would hear the recording of the 999 call which included Dwyer crying and attempts being made to “reverse the irreversible.”

He alleged that both defendants had intended to cause Mr Moorhouse really serious harm and they had participated in the tack on a man who was outnumbered.

“This was a concerted, joint, aggressive, deliberate attack carried out by both of them in anger not in self defence,” alleged Mr Enoch.

The trial continues.

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