A teenage drug dealer from London has admitted killing a man in a Horsham flat.
Giving evidence in court today, Nicholas Bridge admitted inflicting the fatal stab wound on Anthony Williams on September 19 last year.
However he insisted he did not go to the Park Way flat with the intention of murder and only acted in self defence, arguments the prosecution reject.
Bridge, 18 from Brixton in London, stands accused of murder alongside co-defendant Daniel Omofeghare, 20, of no fixed address.
Both men deny the charge.
Anthony, a father, was pronounced dead at 5.45pm on the day of the incident. Tests indicated that he had recently used cocaine and heroin, the court was told.
At that point I am thinking I can’t die. If he gets the knife he’s 100 per cent going to kill me.Nicholas Bridge, defendant
Testifying today at Hove Crown Court, Bridge told jurors he is ‘not a violent person at all’ and said he does not carry weapons.
Asked about how he earned money at the time, he told the court that he was doing a business administration apprenticeship and dealing drugs on the side.
He said a girl on a training course in Crawley told him there was demand for drugs in Horsham, and he began dealing Class A drugs in the town.
Bridge argued he was not a big time drug dealer, earning between £150 and £200 a day from sales of drugs.
Bridge said he was in London the day before when he found out his friend had been robbed in Horsham.
The defence and prosecution disagree as to whether Bridge’s trip to Horsham the following day was pre-arranged or to find out more about the robbery.
It is agreed however that on the day Bridge, Omofeghare and another man went to the flat in Park Way where Anthony Williams died.
Bridge told the court: “I was naïve [thinking] they were taking me to the house of someone who knew about the robbery.”
Once inside he saw six people in the living room. He said there was a knife and drugs ‘paraphernalia’ on a table.
He told jurors: “Tony was sitting down in a chair, had a scowl on his face like suspicion.
“He shouted something. As he shouted I turned towards him.
“He’s picked up the knife from the table. He’s lunged at me.”
Bridge claimed the knife poked him in a leg and caused him ‘agony’.
He told the court about the ensuing struggle and his ultimately successful attempts to get hold of the knife.
He said that Anthony then picked up a baseball bat and swung at him and he swung at Anthony with the knife.
The fight moved into a bedroom, where he said Anthony must have sustained cuts to his face from the knife.
He told the court: “My intentions were to defend myself, not to harm anyone.
“At that point I am thinking I can’t die. If he gets the knife he’s 100 per cent going to kill me.”
Asked if he accepts that he killed him Bridge said ‘yes’.
“I accept these actions have resulted in his death.
“I am not happy he died.
“He died by the hands of me so of course I am not happy.”
Asked if his co-defendant had anything to do with the incident, Bridge said he did not and only tried to pull him off Anthony.
Bridge said he got away and he left with Omofeghare and the man they had arrived with.
He said: “When I left the premises I knew Tony was injured but it never crossed my mind that he was going to die.
“I thought I just needed to get out of Horsham, I wasn’t thinking where.”
Once prosecutor Philip Bennett QC took over questioning, he asked Bridge for the name of his drug supplier several times.
Bridge refused to answer.
Mr Bennett then said: “There’s no self defence about what you did is there?
“You did that as an act of revenge for the robbery.”
Bridge replied: “If I did not defend myself I would have been dead that day and it would have been Tony standing here [in court].”
He was also asked how Anthony received knife wounds in his back. Bridge denied that he thrust the knife into his back.
Finally, Mr Bennett asked him why Bridge did not simply drive to a police station after the incident.
He replied: “I wasn’t thinking.”
Bridge will resume giving evidence tomorrow. The trial continues.