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Friend of alleged Ipswich murder victim denies his knife was used in the attack

PUBLISHED: 07:30 16 July 2019 | UPDATED: 09:58 16 July 2019

Daniel Saunders, 32, died on December 16 last year  Picture: SUFFOLK POLICE

Daniel Saunders, 32, died on December 16 last year Picture: SUFFOLK POLICE

Archant

A friend of an alleged murder victim has denied that his knife was used in the fatal attack.

The scene in Turin Street and Kenyon Street, Ipswich,  after Mr Saunders was fatally wounded Picture: ARCHANTThe scene in Turin Street and Kenyon Street, Ipswich, after Mr Saunders was fatally wounded Picture: ARCHANT

Giving evidence at Ipswich Crown Court 32-year-old Ben Wright denied pulling out a knife and demanding money and drugs from a 17-year-old youth who is accused of murdering Daniel Saunders last December.

Cross-examined by William Carter QC for the 17-year-old, Mr Wright denied a suggestion that he and the teenager had fallen to the ground after the 17-year-old punched him and that as they were struggling to their feet the teenager had got hold of his knife.

Mr Wright also denied that Mr Saunders had tried to attack the 17-year-old with a chisel and that the teenager had then "lunged" at him with his knife in self-defence.

Mr Wright described Mr Carter's suggestions as "lies" and as: "The funniest story I've heard in my life."

The 17-year-old boy, from Bury St Edmunds, who denies murder, is on trial with five other defendants, who all deny assisting an offender by disposing of his clothing and harbouring him at a caravan park.

They are Arjun Jadeja, 18, of The Nook, Wivenhoe; Benjamin Gosbell, 20, of Gratian Close, Highwoods, Colchester; Olusola Durojaiye, 33, of Appleton Mews, Colchester; a 16-year-old boy from Bury St Edmunds, and a 17-year-old boy from Colchester.

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During his evidence Mr Wright said he and Mr Saunders had encountered a drug dealer in an alleyway near Turin Street, Ipswich, and he had purchased drugs from him.

As he was heading back along the alleyway he claimed he heard a loud slapping noise, followed by a groan.

He then heard Mr Saunders shout at him to run away and saw the dealer holding what looked like a two-to-three foot long "pirate's sword".

He found Mr Saunders "on the floor on his back" with his eyes "wide open" and had left before the police arrived.

He denied that he and Mr Saunders were carrying anything but drinks, snacks, money and mobile phones.

The court has heard that the 17-year-old told police that Mr Saunders and Mr Wright had tried to rob him in the alleyway, and that he had grabbed a knife being carried by Mr Wright and stabbed Mr Saunders in self defence.

The trial continues.

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