James Brindley: Teen says stabbing was 'self defence'

Image source, West Midlands Police
Image caption,
James Brindley was stabbed in the heart after a night out with friends

A teenager stabbed a budding male model in the heart in self-defence, a court has heard.

The 17-year-old, who cannot be named, and Aaron Kahrod, 21, deny murdering James Brindley, 26, in Aldridge, near Walsall.

Mr Brindley was injured in a 35-second gap between two phone calls from his girlfriend, at 23:42 on 23 June.

At the start of the trial, prosecutors said witnesses saw shoving between the defendants and Mr Brindley.

Opening the case at Birmingham Crown Court, Prosecutor Jonas Hankin QC said witnesses saw one of the defendants push two arms towards Mr Brindley's chest, forcing him to stagger backwards.

Mr Kahrod, of Walsall Road, Aldridge, has denied "any unlawful part in the incident".

The court heard Mr Brindley lived with his parents "400 metres or so" from where the incident happened

Afterwards, he sent his girlfriend Lauren a Whatsapp message, which read: "I've just been stabbed. Two secs, I'm calling an ambulance."

She replied saying: "James? Please tell me you're OK. You need me to phone your parents? I'm scared to phone back, have you phoned an ambulance?"

Fatal injury

The prosecution said the 17-year-old had attempted to dispose of any evidence after the stabbing.

The jury heard that a surgical face mask was found in his coat, which he left on top of a bin.

Mr Hankin told the jury: "[The 17-year-old] admits stabbing Mr Brindley but says it was in self-defence". He claims Mr Brindley had fallen on to the knife, and that he was attempting to slash the teenager.

Mr Hankin added a post-mortem examination confirmed a blade had "caused a fatal injury to the heart".

In a conversation covertly recorded by police, the teenager admitted teasing Mr Brindley, saying they "made a joke about his girl".

"If we say the truth we are just going to get done," the 17-year-old said in the recording.

"He came over and one of us pulled out a thingy - thinking that he would run away," it goes on.

The youth initially claimed Mr Brindley had brought the knife to the scene, but later admitted he brought it himself and he carries one "for protection".

Passers-by had performed first-aid "admirably" by fetching napkins from a nearby restaurant to place on the wound, but Mr Brindley was pronounced dead at 01:05 the following morning, Mr Hankin said.

The trial continues.

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