'I lost self-control', teen tells jury

CHRISTINE CUNNINGHAM A 15-year-old teenager accused of stabbing to death a former scaffolder after a row over an egg- throwing prank yesterday told a jury he had lost his "self-control" and said he was sorry about what happened and wished he could turn back the clock.

CHRISTINE CUNNINGHAM

A 15-year-old teenager accused of stabbing to death a former scaffolder after a row over an egg- throwing prank yesterday told a jury he had lost his "self-control" and said he was sorry about what happened and wished he could turn back the clock.

John Cumby, 30 of Byron Road, Yarmouth, was stabbed in the heart by the teenager, who is now 16 and cannot be named for legal reasons.

Norwich Crown Court heard how the confrontation was sparked after Mr Cumby, who was with two boys, tried to see if he could wrap a real egg in a Cadbury's Creme Egg wrapper.

When he failed in the attempt,

he threw the egg to try to clear the roof of a nearby house - but instead it smashed against a bathroom window of the home where the defendant lived with his family, in February this year.

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The teenager, who was armed with a knife, and his brother,

then confronted Mr Cumby in an alleyway near the house, and when Mr Cumby pushed the defendant's brother the teenager stabbed

Mr Cumby in the heart and he later died.

The teenager denies murder.

Giving evidence, the teenager told the jury how his family had been subjected to anti-social behaviour and he had also stopped attending school because of bullying.

He said that on the day of the egg-throwing incident he had been woken by his mother and brother who told him an egg had been thrown at the bathroom window.

He said: "I got dressed and picked up a knife. I just felt I had an instinct to protect my family at that time."

He left the house with his brother who confronted Mr Cumby and asked what he was doing.

The teenager said he was worried for his brother's safety. He said Mr Cumby had told his brother not to talk to him like that or he would "knock his teeth out."

He said Mr Cumby pushed his brother and he had also been scratched on the face.

"I felt a scratch and that is when I pulled the knife out of my pocket and stabbed him once. It seemed like black and white. I had no self-control. Things were happening fast and I was fearing for my

own safety and my brother's safety."

He said after the stabbing he returned home with his brother and when police arrived he confessed what he had done.

He told the jury: "I'm so sorry about what happened and if I could change it I would."

The trial continues.