James Green murder trial: Two accused over stabbing in Northfleet
3:02pm Tuesday 27th November 2012
TWO teenagers accused of killing 29-year-old James Green have appeared in court for the first day of their murder trial.
Mr Green, aged 29, of Holly Court, Northfleet, was stabbed to death on his own doorstep on June 21.
Tommy Presley, aged 18, of Bankside, Northfleet, and a 17-year-old boy who cannot be named for legal reasons, both deny murder.
Andrew Espley, prosecuting, today told Maidstone Crown Court that Presley was the one who stabbed Mr Green but the other defendant was "jointly responsible for his death".
The prosecutor said Mr Green was shown on CCTV leaving Ebbsfleet Grill, in Stonebridge Road, holding some chips at 10.35pm before the defendants spotted him and gave chase.
He then read a statement from a witness who said she heard banging and someone saying "aah".
The witness said she saw something in Presley's hand which looked like a "little black pole" that was three or four inches long.
The prosecutor put the banging down to the defendants trying to force their way into Mr Green’s front door, which was wedged open with a plastic bottle.
The witness said that after the noise she heard the 17-year-old say to Presley: "What have you done that for?
"Why have you done that? What have you done?"
After the defendants left the scene the witness spotted blood on Mr Green's door.
Mr Espley told the jury CCTV footage showed the two defendants walking away from the scene looking as "cool as a cucumber".
Mr Green had wounds to his shoulder, liver and the left side of his chest.
It is alleged Mr Green told friends in the days before the attack he was concerned that people were accusing him of being a police "grass".
Mr Espley told the jury how months before Mr Green had been discharged from a police station after being arrested with another person from the estate.
Mr Green walked free while the other person remained in custody. Mr Espley said some people on the estate had concluded Mr Green had given evidence to the police.
He said: “This was a build-up of hostility that culminated in the events of the 21st of June.”
He also read out evidence of two witnesses who said they saw Mr Green being attacked by the defendants between 9pm and 10pm on the night he died.
One witness said the 17-year-old punched Mr Green in the face which made him fall onto a bollard as he fell to the ground.
He then kicked him in the head as Presley tried to punch him, but missed, the witness said.
Mr Green told his attackers he had a solicitor’s letter proving he was not a grass, the witness added.
Mr Espley also told the court that Mr Green was “trapped” in a shop six days before he died.
He said a group of youths, including the defendants, surrounded him in Northfleet Food and Wine in Northfleet High Street at 5pm on June 15.
A witness said a dozen people were crowding around the shop.
The witness said she heard someone say: “Get your f***ing self outside and we’ll have it out one to one.”
Another witness said she heard the 17-year-old defendant yell something like “When you get out I am going to kill you.”
Mr Espley said Mr Green rang the police who arrived to disperse the crowd.
He added that one of the crowd told police they thought Mr Green was a grass and that he should not stay there.
Mr Espley said this was evidence that “The youths on the estate had been hostile to Mr Green for a while leading up to his death.”
Presley admits causing the wounds which killed Mr Green but claims he acted in self-defence.
The trial continues.