‘He fell on a knife’ accused tells court

A Horncastle man died after he fell on a knife he was holding during a violent struggle a crown court has heard.

Keiron Podd, 37, of Mareham Road, is accused of murdering Paul Richards-Jones, 30, known locally as Paul Wray, last March.

Podd denies murder and told Nottingham Crown Court that he tried to stop Mr Wray going upstairs in his house after Mr Wray walked towards him with a knife in his hand.

The court heard Mr Wray arrived uninvited and drunk at Podd’s house on March 12. He was four times over the drink driving limit.

Podd told the court that the two shared a drink from a bottle of sherry and he went upstairs to use the toilet.

When he returned to his living room, Mr Wray was holding a knife from Podd’s kitchen with blood dripping from his hand.

Podd claimed he had given Mr Wray a pair of pyjama bottoms to clean his hand.

Podd said: “He was saying that he had an argument with his girlfriend and he couldn’t believe he had lost her.

“I was consoling him, telling him everything would be alright.

“He said life wasn’t worth living and threatened to cut his throat with the knife.

“I told him - don’t be f***ing stupid and told him to give me the knife.”

Superficial slash wounds were found on Mr Wray’s right cheek and neck.

Podd said Mr Wray accused him of sleeping with his girlfriend and demanded to go upstairs to see if she was there.

Podd added: “He wanted to go upstairs but I wasn’t going to let him.

“I stood up and I got in his way. I didn’t invite him into my house. He had no right to be there.”

The court heard Mr Wray would have to get past Podd to go upstairs.

Podd said as Mr Wray advanced towards him with the knife at his side he put both his hands on the hand Mr Wray was using to hold the knife.

He said that after a violent struggle in his living room, he fell backwards with Mr Wray on top of him.

Podd added: “We started wrestling over the knife, rough-housing each 
other. He was pushing me around and we were banging off the walls. He tripped me up and made me fall backwards.”

Podd said that the knife went into Wray while they were struggling.

He said: “The life went out of him straight away. I didn’t see the knife go in or go out.”

After attempting to give Mr Wray CPR, Podd called for an ambulance.

The jury heard how in his first call, Podd said “The bloke started on me and we fought and he tried to pull a knife on me, I think he is dead.”

Podd told the court: “Well we fought, we fought and it ended up going on him.”

Mr Wray died as a result of a single fatal stab to the heart.

Cross-examining, Nirmal Shant QC, prosecuting, said to Podd: “You were at pains to tell the police that he has attacked you and the knife was still in his hand.”

Podd told the court he had moved Mr Wray’s body to give him CPR and that he did not think he was dead straight away.

He added: “I realised the knife had gone in his chest when I lifted his shirt up,” he said.

Shant told the court that in a 999 call Podd had made he told the operator “I can’t help him he’s dead” and Shant said: “You made no indication that you tried to perform CPR.”

The prosecution claimed that Podd caused the slash wounds on Mr Wray’s face, and that he stabbed him after an argument, then altered the scene to make it look like Mr Wray was the aggressor.

Podd said in his defence: “I would have had to go into the kitchen to the knife block.

“I felt entitled to prevent him from going upstairs. He shouldn’t have been in my house in the first place.”

The trial continues.