Youth 'only meant to slice' victim not kill him, court told
Published 13/08/2014 | 14:30
A teenager only meant to "slice" a man with learning difficulties during an attempted mugging and never intended to kill him, a court heard.
Dean Mayley, 24, was stabbed in the heart as he walked home in Greenford, west London, on February 7. He died later in hospital.
A 17-year-old, who cannot be named, said he lashed out at Mr Mayley with a lock knife after he refused to hand over his mobile phone and became "aggressive".
He is one of four teenagers on trial at the Old Bailey over the murder which was caught on CCTV.
The boy told jurors how he targeted Mr Mayley for his mobile phone because he was walking by himself.
Accompanied by two friends - Ryan Beresford and another 17-year-old - he went up to the victim with a knife behind his back before holding it by his side to "threaten" him, he said.
Mr Mayley said "no" three times when the 17-year-old asked him to hand over his phone, he said.
The witness said: "He was getting fidgety. His hands were in his pockets. He was looking straight into my eyes. Ryan and (the 17-year-old defendant) - I noticed them coming back towards me. I asked them 'are you going to get involved' but they just stood there.
"I asked him again 'just give me your phone'. He shrugged and said 'what are you going to do about it'.
"And then I just literally panicked. I did not know what to do and I'm thinking 'is this guy going to hit me' because of his body language.
"I thrust out first. I hit him first - I did not intend to hurt him. I just meant to do a slice and that's it.
"I just ended up getting paranoid and he was getting aggressive towards me."
Afterwards, the witness said he and his two friends ran back to a car being driven by the fourth defendant Michael Mensah.
When he got back to the car, he said he noticed there was "a yellow thing stuck on the knife" which was the first time and realised he may have injured Mr Mayley.
He told the court he chucked away the knife which he had only been given for safe-keeping earlier that day.
Asked by his lawyer Sarah Forshaw QC how he felt about what happened to Mr Mayley now, he replied: "Devastated, disgraced, ashamed."
Mr Mayley's mother Donna was tearful as she sat in court and listened to the evidence.
Earlier, the boy told the court he had never tried to rob anyone before or been in trouble with police.
He said he did not realise at the time that Mr Mayley, who had a mental age of nine, may have had a learning disability.
Ms Forshaw said: "Do you accept that it was you who struck Mr Mayley with that knife on February 7?"
The boy said: "Yes."
She went on: "Why did you approach Dean Mayley at all?"
He replied: "To rob him."
He denied that he ever meant to kill him or cause him "really serious injuries".
He said he was given the knife by a gang member to take care of while they were in college earlier that day.
Asked why he agreed to the request in the toilets of the college, he said: "He was forceful towards me. He just pushed it into my hand. I did not want to push my luck." He told jurors he was not a member of a gang.
The 17-year-old denies murder but has admitted attempting to rob Mr Mayley.
Mensah, 18, of Greenford, west London; Beresford, 19, of Acton, west London; and another 17-year-old boy also deny murder as well as the attempted robbery.
Mensah alone is accused of an earlier robbery on a 15-year-old boy on January 28. He denies the charge.
The trial continues.