North West Wales

Self-defence plea in Old Colwyn murder trial

A 20-year-old man who allegedly stabbed his girlfriend's father has told a murder trial it was self-defence.

Gordon Harding said he lost control and could not remember inflicting all the injuries suffered by Antoni Robinson.

He said he wanted to look into a safe in the retired antique dealer's bedroom and froze in fear when he woke up.

Mr Harding, Mr Robinson's daughter Ashleigh, Sacha Roberts, both 19, and a girl of 16 deny murder in Old Colwyn, Conwy, in July. The trial continues.

The defendant had moved into Mr Robinson's bungalow with his girlfriend and their baby, shortly before Mr Robinson's death.

He claimed he wanted to look into the safe and took a commando-style knife with him for confidence and as a deterrent.

But he said Mr Robinson woke up and lunged at him with a kitchen knife.

The prosecution say Mr Harding, and possibly another, stabbed him, but that all four charged are guilty of murder on the basis of being present and encouraging, and that a plan had been hatched between them.

Mr Harding said Mr Robinson got in from the pub and argued with his daughter, and threatened to kick her out in the morning.

"Ashleigh walked away and seemed quite upset and angry at what her dad had said," he added.

Text message

He was asked about a text message he has sent to Sacha Roberts saying: "He goes tonight, Need your backup. Ready when you are".

Mr Harding said he wanted to see if the safe in Mr Robinson's bedroom contained any letter that could help Ashleigh's mother in her legal battle to move back into the bungalow.

He was ready to go in to see if there was jewellery, which had been the subject of a family dispute, in the safe.

"The door was closed. I opened it slightly... I opened it slowly trying not to make a noise. I started to move into the room," he added.

He said that as he got into the room Mr Robinson got out of bed, he froze in fear and dropped the knife to the floor.

The court was told Mr Robinson "lunged" towards Mr Harding.

There was a scuffle and Mr Harding said he saw Mr Robinson pick up a knife.

"He just came at me with it. I immediately grabbed his left wrist and we were struggling over the knife," he said.

Chest of drawers

Mr Harding said he managed to get the knife away from Mr Robinson, but he could not move away because of a chest of drawers.

"I pulled my right hand up to my left shoulder. That was the only place I could move to get away from him.

"He pulled my left wrist towards him and I cut him to the neck and to the rear of his right hand shoulder."

His barrister asked him if there was anyone else in the room and he said "No, not to my knowledge".

Asked if he caused all of Mr Robinson's wounds, Mr Harding said: "I accept that I must have, but I don't recall causing any more than three or four wounds."

He said he did not have any intention to kill him or to cause him serious injury.

"I only wanted to get out, to get away and get the knife off him," he said.

Mr Harding accepted that he said in a police interview that he thought he had lost control.

When asked why he had lost control he added: "It's just that I was panicking.

"It's just that I was terrified at what was happening."

The trial continues.

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