A MAN accused of murder said he wanted to take his own life when he was told the victim had died.
Richard Adam Reece, 19, said he “started to fall apart” when a police negotiator told him young father Danny Jones had died following an altercation in Lord Street, Oswestry on April 24.
Describing the moment Mr Jones received a single stab wound to the abdomen, Reece, of Lord Street, Oswestry, said he did not feel or see anything.
Taking to the stand at Birmingham Crown Court yesterday, the 19-year-old, who denies murder, said: “I remember stunned silence. I looked at Danny, I looked down as he was wounded.”
He said he then froze, ran and threw the knife, before returning to the scene. Reece then ran off a second time to the home of Daniel Bennett, who had earlier told the court he had been drinking lager and spirits with the pair.
Reece then headed back to Lord Street with Mr Bennett but waited in an alleyway before fleeing and walking to a friend’s house in Llansilin, before he was arrested.
“I couldn’t stay still so I just left,” he said. “I was scared, shocked and I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t have any idea of what had happened or how it happened.”
Reece said he received several abusive phone calls and text messages, but did not know Mr Jones had died before the police negotiator’s call and was going to hand himself into police the following morning.
He continued: “I wanted to end my own life or hand myself in. I was thinking about topping myself.”
Reece added: “I know I was holding that knife when Danny got injured. I felt responsible.”
Previously, Reece had told the court how a “friendly” drink with Mr Jones got out of hand following a misunderstanding about Mr Jones and his son.
He said they were asked to take it outside. But the defendant said, despite being pushed and punched in the face, he did not retaliate.
He said: “I didn't want to fight him.”
But after being knocked to the ground, Reece said he jumped on Mr Jones’ car, telling the court: “Out of anger that he hit me I took my frustration out on an object.”
He said the pair fought before Mr Jones chased him in the car park and Reece admitted throwing a brick at the trainee accountant “just to scare him” and to try and stop the chase.
Reece said he then went to the house looking for “anything, any object” to make Mr Jones stop. He picked up the 30cm blade which was in a plant pot in the front garden after the pair had been looking at it earlier in the day.
He said he held it at his side when he entered the car park, but raised it as Mr Jones came towards him.
He told the court: “I probably tilted it up so it was more facing upwards just for a short time just as a warning, just so that he could see it clearly.
“I hoped he would see it and back off and wouldn't come any further.”
Reece said Mr Jones then went to hit him. He steadied himself and used his left hand to protect himself while holding the knife with his right hand, before Mr Jones made contact with the knife.
Reece later told the court: “There comes a point when you’re fighting with someone when there's anger but fear takes over.”
His comments came during cross-examination as the murder trial entered a second week.
Reece, said he felt responsible for Mr Jones’ death, telling the court: “He didn’t deserve to die. At the time I saw that I had no other option, I had to defend myself.
“If I had dropped it, it could have been the other way round quite easily. Time and time again I wished it was.”
He continued: “I was really scared.I thought he would see the knife and not come any closer. I could have kept running, I wish I did.”
When asked, Reece, of Lord Street, Oswestry, said he picked up the 30cm blade “in desperation” to stop Mr Jones’ attack.
He denied using the weapon against Mr Jones and stabbing him in the abdomen.
He said he believed Mr Jones fell onto him, but could not be sure, saying: “I didn’t feel anything. I felt him bump into me. I wasn’t really conscious of the resistance.