Beds, Herts & Bucks

Milton Keynes stabbing: Murder accused was 'protecting mate'

Ronnie Wrighting Image copyright Thames Valley Police
Image caption Ronnie Wrighting, 29, died from a single stab wound to the abdomen following the attack in Milton Keynes

A teenager accused of murdering a father who was attacked and stabbed in the street has said he was protecting his co-accused "mate", a court heard.

Zachary Lemonnier and Robert Williams - both aged 18 - deny murdering Ronnie Wrighting, 29, in Milton Keynes in August.

Mr Lemonnier said he stabbed Mr Wrighting because he thought he was going to attack Mr Williams.

He told Luton Crown Court he was scared and "thought I had to stop it".

The two men also deny an alternative charge of manslaughter plus robbery and possession of offensive weapons.

The court earlier heard Mr Wrighting, who lived in Great Linford, Milton Keynes, was attacked late in the evening on 11 August after he left the home of his girlfriend - the mother of his young daughter - on the Browns Wood estate.

Prosecutor Martin Mulgrew said Mr Lemonnier, of no fixed address, and Mr Williams, of Tallis Lane, Browns Wood, "rained blow after blow on him" while he was waiting in Duparc Close for a taxi.

He suffered severed blood vessels, kidney damage and internal bleeding and died in hospital from cardiac arrest.

'Fight me'

Mr Lemonnier told jurors they were leaving Mr Williams' home when Mr Wrighting, who was holding a can of lager, approached both of them and said: "Come and fight me".

The defendant said he was scared so armed himself with a kitchen knife and Mr Williams grabbed a baseball bat.

He told the court Mr Wrighting "attacked Rob and pushed him to the floor" like "a rag doll" and leaned over him.

"I thought he was going to attack him and hurt him. I thought I had to stop it...I was scared," he said.

He told the court he "stabbed him" once in his side but denied he wanted to hurt him.

"No, I was protecting my mate. I thought my friend could end up in hospital," he said.

The court has been told the attack may have been part of a plan to rob Mr Wrighting of his watch.

The trial continues.

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