Sheffield man was stabbed ‘defending a friend’

Joe on holiday in 2013
Joe on holiday in 2013
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A fight which led to a man being fatally stabbed at a house party was triggered when the victim rushed outside demanding to know who had given his friend a broken nose.

Joe Walker, aged 23, was chased from a party by a seven-strong group after he punched a 17-year-old, who cannot be named, Sheffield Crown Court was told.

The teenager accused denies murder, insisting he never intended to kill.

Joe, from Intake in Sheffield, had been at a party on Waltheof Road, Manor, last September along with his friend Dennis Patterson, at the invitation of a girl called Danielle Lee.

But Dennis ran into trouble when he went outside for a cigarette, the court heard.

Giving evidence, Dennis told jurors he was attacked by a man outside the house after abuse was shouted at him from the other side of the road.

He said: “He came out of nowhere and punched me. I was paralytic drunk, I couldn’t do anything.”

The attack left him with a broken nose and he went back into the house bleeding.

Another witness, Jade West, heard the argument begin from an upstairs bedroom. She told the court Dennis had had racist abuse hurled at him.

She told Joe about the attack, who replied saying he ‘wasn’t having people hitting his friend’ and rushed outside.

He shouted, ‘I will fight any of you, one-on-one’, according to witness Anthony Bramall.

Dennis said: “The defendant was shouting abuse at Joe, effing and blinding, and Joe ended up hitting him once. It knocked him back.

“The defendant then pulled a blade out from his trousers.

“It was a big kitchen knife, about eight inches.”

He said Joe tried to escape. “He just runs. Like any normal person would. He just started running, and he couldn’t run because he was drunk,” he told jurors.

The court heard Joe was chased by a group of people down a pathway into a grassy area near the house, where the stabbing happened.

Jade said she saw Joe’s arms being held back, and she screamed for help.

After Joe was knifed she said she heard the defendant tell him, ‘You’re not going to do nowt now you’re laid out’.

“I saw Joe staggering and holding his side,” she said. “His eyes were flickering. I didn’t know what was happening at first. He didn’t look like Joe at all.

“I was shouting for help. My phone battery was dead so I couldn’t ring an ambulance. That’s when Danielle came down and tried to give him mouth-to-mouth and she rang an ambulance.”

The blade had severed an artery, causing severe internal bleeding, and police and paramedics were unable to revive Joe.

The defendant claims an object was placed in his hand during the fight, and he had not realised it was a knife until after he struck out with it.

The trial continues.