WILLIAM Blencowe fatally stabbed Connor Tremble because he thought he was in “imminent danger of attack”, a jury was told yesterday.
The claim was made by the 21-year-old’s barrister Adrian Amer during his closing speech.
He said Blencowe was acting in self defence and suffering from a mental condition when he stabbed the teenager 15 times on February 13.
The prosecution alleges the defendant travelled to Fairacres Road, Oxford, because he was jealous of Connor’s relationship with his ex-girlfriend Aimee Harrison.
But Mr Amer said this was “pure speculation”.
Describing what happened when Blencowe arrived at about 6.30pm, the barrister said: “Will felt he was in imminent danger of attack and used such force in the circumstances as he honestly believed was necessary for his own self defence.”
Mr Amer added that the force used, which included stabbing Connor 10 times in the back, was “reasonable” in view of Blencowe’s mental state at the time.
He told the jury: “If Will and Connor were grappling with each other, in Will’s mind, the only way to get Connor to release his grip was to stab him numerous times to the buttock area and back area.
“In Will’s mind it was the only place to attack Connor to get him off.
“Can you imagine the fear of attack that he was feeling?”
He added: “This is not as simple a case as the prosecution makes it out to be, it is not that open and shut.
Grant Clemens, of Stockwells, Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire, and Bradley Jones, of New Road, Bledington, also Gloucestershire, both deny perverting the course of justice by helping Blencowe.
It is alleged on February 13 the two men helped their friend by giving him clothes and arranging transport out of Oxfordshire.
Lauren Soertsz, defending Clemens, 24, said her client was not really a friend of Blencowe, just an old acquaintance.
She said: “It seems unlikely that Grant Clemens would involve himself in offending on Will Blencowe’s behalf.
“He says to you ‘I did not know what was unfolding in the background, these men pitched up on my doorstep’.
“Grant Clemens did not invite trouble, it found him. He was not helping someone who he thought was an offender, but someone who appeared in need. Someone he thought was desperate.”
Graham Logan, defending 21-year-old Jones, said the most important question for the jury was if his client had the intent to pervert the course of justice.
He said: “There is no evidence that Bradley Jones was told anything about what had happened. Anything that would have given him an idea of what had gone on in Fairacres Road earlier that day.
“What you must come back to is the intent – did he know or have any belief of what happened?
“And in my submission the Crown cannot satisfy you of that so you are sure.”
The trial continues.
- Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? We are running a service covering this trial as well as our normal News and Sport services. Text CONNOR or NEWS or SPORT or a combination of all three depending on which services you want, plus your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone's contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.
Our top stories
- Prisons' shake-up will be at heart of today's Queen's Speech
- Five things you need to know in Oxfordshire today
- TV Wildlife presenter Chris Packham speaks about his Aspergers, teenage struggles and attempts to get into Oxford University
- GALLERY: Prince William proves a hit with young and old students on Oxford visit
- Elections 2016 roundup: Everything you need to know for May 5
- Authorities search for solutions as graffiti in Oxford doubles in a year