Great Yarmouth murder trial: Man carried knife to protect drugs stash, court told

Police outside Dickens Court, Great Yarmouth. Picture: James Bass

Police outside Dickens Court, Great Yarmouth. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015

A man accused of murder carried a knife with him to protect his drugs stash, a court heard.

Andrew McGowan

Andrew McGowan - Credit: Supplied

Warren Ricardo Blake, 18, and Tevin Birmingham, 21, allegedly stabbed Andrew McGowan to death at a Great Yarmouth flat used for drug dealing.

Andrew Radcliffe, prosecuting, said violence flared when Mr McGowan turned up at the flat in Dickens Road with a hammer, in the hope of stealing drugs from the two men.

Mr McGowan suffered five stab wounds including one to his heart and four to his back, Norwich Crown Court heard yesterday.

'Undoubtedly Mr McGowan had a hammer, but he was staggering drunk and in reality we would suggest he posed little threat to anyone,' said Mr Radcliffe.


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Blake admitted stabbing the victim but said this was a single blow in self-defence, and Birmingham denied any involvement but admitted he was at the flat.

Mr Radcliffe said Blake's account of picking up a knife from the bedside, used for cutting up his takeaway food, was untrue.

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'He [Blake] routinely carried a knife to ensure no-one stole his stash,' he said. 'It was on him to deter anyone from even considering stealing from him.'

A post-mortem examination suggested two knives were used in the attack on November 14 last year.

'It's not possible to claim self-defence when someone is being stabbed in the back,' added Mr Radcliffe.

Blake, of Thorncliffe Road, London, and Birmingham, of William Kett Close, Norwich, were arrested 10 days later in London.

They both deny murder and the supply of cocaine on the same date.

Also in the dock are Charlene Barber, 34, of Dickens Avenue, Yarmouth and Kevin Wood, 45, of Nelson Road Central Yarmouth.

They both deny perverting the course of justice by delaying calling 999, allowing the men to evade immediate arrest.

A teenage girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said in a police interview that Blake always wore shorts, tracksuit bottoms and jeans at the same time, and concealed a knife with a 15cm blade beneath his jeans.

She said he carried it to 'protect himself'.

The trial continues.

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