Man cleared of murder in Hitchin
One of two men on trial in connection with the death of a 25-year-old man in Hitchin has been cleared of murder on the direction of the judge.
Sean Flattery, 21, of Seebohm Close, Hitchin, and Kyle Holloway, of Wilshere Crescent, Hitchin, both denied murdering Michael Chalkley.
Mr Chalkley died in April after being attacked near his home in Bingen Road.
At Luton Crown Court, Judge John Bevan QC said there was insufficient evidence to convict Mr Holloway.
But Mr Holloway still remains on trial on a charge of violent disorder connected to the same incident.
Mr Flattery is now the only man facing a murder charge, which he denies. He also denies violent disorder, but has admitted possessing a knife at the scene.
Also on trial are Raymond Small, 21, of Pix Road, Letchworth and Richmond Nkhoma, also 21, of Roxley Court, Willian, Hertfordshire.
They are charged with violent disorder, which they deny.
Ben Gumpert, prosecuting, said Mr Flattery and Mr Chalkley were near neighbours and there may have been some previous antagonism between them.
They had both been drinking on the night.
Mr Chalkley was with a friend walking to the other man's flat with some drink they had bought, the court heard.
"There was an exchange with Mr Flattery which turned into an argument and a fight developed," Mr Gumpert alleged.
"The other three defendants became involved so it was not a fair fight.
"Then Sean Flattery produced a knife and stabbed him several times."
The case continues.