A 26-year-old father has told a murder trial jury he was defending himself when he fatally stabbed a Honley man in the chest.
Dale Dwyer claimed he was under attack from Darren Moorhouse and couldn’t remember the moment he stabbed the 49-year-old during a violent disturbance at a flats complex in Athol Close, Ovenden.
The jury at Bradford Crown Court has heard how Dwyer, of Alma Street, Buxton, had offered to help his friend Christopher Churchill, 34, collect some belongings from his ex-partner’s flat when an argument broke out over a television.
Dwyer claimed that Mr Moorhouse, who had been visiting his friend Kate Longshaw, started screaming and shouting at him to get out during the disturbance.
The defendant, who admitted punching Mr Moorhouse in the face, claimed he didn’t want to fight after suffering a brain injury during a previous assault in Manchester last year.
But Dwyer said Mr Moorhouse was throwing punches at him and threatening to kill him as the incident continued downstairs in the communal entrance area.
Dwyer told the court that during the early afternoon incident in January he saw Churchill with a knife and took it off him because he didn’t want his friend to go back into the flat with it.
But Dwyer claimed that Mr Moorhouse “whacked” him across the face with a telescope as the disturbance continued and it was as he defended himself from another blow that he “punched” him.
Dwyer maintained that he had never intended to kill or seriously injure Mr Moorhouse and claimed that “instinct had kicked in” when he was being attacked.
Dwyer said he had been knocked unconscious at the time of the stabbing, but after he came round he saw Churchill punching Mr Moorhouse who had collapsed on the half-landing.
He told the jury that when they left he thought Mr Moorhouse was just unconscious but when he saw blood on his hands he realised that he had stabbed him.
Dwyer and Churchill, who both deny the murder charge, returned to the flats where they were seen trying to help Mr Moorhouse, but he had been fatally injured in the stabbing.
During cross-examination prosecutor Dafydd Enoch QC conceded it was not suggested Dwyer intended to kill Mr Moorhouse, but he alleged that in the moments before he “chose to use the knife” he had lost his temper.
“You’d had enough and decided to stab him,” said Mr Enoch.
“No I didn’t decide to stab him,” replied Dwyer.
“He was getting in your way,” suggested Mr Enoch.
“I was defending myself,” insisted Dwyer.
Dwyer described the prosecutor’s account as “circumstantial b*******” and said Mr Moorhouse didn’t have to come out of the flat carrying the telescope.
The trial continues.