A woman whose friend died after a street confrontation has told a murder trial jury about the events leading up to the fatal stabbing last summer.

Tearful Leah Owen, who was friends with Sean Annandale and his alleged killer Jamal Buckle, told Bradford Crown Court that she and Mr Annandale had been arguing outside the flats on Elmfield Avenue, Golcar, when teenager Buckle lent out of his window and told them both to “chill out”.

She confirmed that Buckle, now 18, was aware of another argument a few days earlier during which Miss Owen had punched Mr Annandale and the 22-year-old had responded by spitting at her and pouring a drink over her.

Miss Owen said Buckle invited her to come up to his flat, but Mr Annandale then started arguing with the teenager.

She said she became concerned that Mr Annandale and one of his friends, Vaughan Longmore, were “going to batter” Buckle so she stood between them.

“I remember trying to grab Sean. I remember having my back to Jamal and Sean,” said Miss Owen.

Sean Annandale, 22, died in Huddersfield Royal Infirmary following an attack in Golcar.
Sean Annandale, 22, died in Huddersfield Royal Infirmary following an attack in Golcar.

“I had Vaughan in front of me and I had hold of Vaughan.

“It all happened so quick. Everything happened so quickly.”

She said the next time she saw Mr Annandale he was stumbling and saying “Help me” before collapsing onto the ground.

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“You didn’t see what caused it to happen?” asked prosecutor Simon Waley.

“No,” replied Miss Owen.

As she tried to help Mr Annandale she recalled hearing Mr Longmore say ‘You’ve stabbed him’ and Buckle replying:”It was an accident”.

Miss Owen said she later saw Buckle on the phone to the ambulance service with a knife in his hand.

Video thumbnail, Det Supt Mark Ridley on Elmfield murder investigation
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“He was saying it was an accident. He didn’t mean to...he had a kid. He was just repeating himself,” said Miss Owen.

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She said Mr Longmore had picked up two knives at some stage and had been chasing after Buckle, but she had eventually taken the knives off him.

Buckle left the scene in a Peugeot car and Mr Annandale was later pronounced dead at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.

Mr Annandale had suffered three stab wounds to the chest, including one which penetrated his heart. He had also been stabbed in the thigh.

Buckle, of Elmfield Avenue, handed himself in to the police and claimed to have picked up the knife from the ground during an initial confrontation with Mr Annandale.

The murder scene on Elmfield Avenue, Golcar. Floral tributes left behind the police tape at the scene.

He told officers that he had punched Mr Annandale while he was still holding the knife and had not intended to stab him.

The prosecution has alleged that Buckle, who denies murder, had come down from his flat armed with the knife and had deliberately stabbed Mr Annandale with it.

Buckle’s friend Shervin Soltani, 23, of Hawthorne Way, Shelley, has denied a charged of assisting an offender by driving the defendant away.

During cross-examination by Buckle’s barrister Jason Pitter QC Miss Owen said Mr Annandale could “turn nasty with his mouth” after he had been drinking.

But she confirmed that when Buckle had initially seen Mr Annandale and two of his friends that night there had not been any sign of trouble.

The trial continues.