A TEENAGER who stabbed a homeless man in a street fight told police he was acting in self defence while being attacked with a broken bottle.
Brian Jewell stabbed street drinker Stephen Cook during a scuffle outside a Betfred shop in Sidwell Street, Exeter, at around 8.10 pm on January 28 this year.
Mr Cook, aged 45, only realised he had been injured as he walked away from the confrontation and then collapsed inside the betting shop.
He retained consciousness long enough to make a final phone call to his grown up daughter on a borrowed phone. He had been stabbed through the heart and died about an hour later.
Digitally enhanced footage of the fight showed Mr Cook smashing a bottle and advancing towards Jewell before the two men came into contact for about 15 seconds, during which Jewell was seen to inflict the single fatal wound with the knife.
The footage showed Mr Cook walking away but then spotting a hole in the light coloured top he was wearing and lifting it to reveal blood gushing from his chest.
The knife had a blade of 8.5 cm and had been bought at the Taunton Leisure shop in Exeter just before it shut the previous evening.
Jewell, aged 19, of no fixed address, denies murder and manslaughter in a trial at Exeter Crown Court.
Miss Jo Martin, KC, prosecuting, completed her opening to the jury by telling them that the camping knife which Jewell used to inflict the fatal blow had ben thrust into Mr Cook to the full length of the hilt and with enough force to cut through rib cartilage.
She said Jewell suffered a cut to his face from broken bottle and left the scene, hiding the knife on a windowsill behind the Sidwell Community Centre before being arrested at 10.41 pm.
He told the police he acted in self-defence and said: 'What should you do when someone attacks you with a broken bottle. The law is sick and twisted. I did not want to fight him. I tried to get away.
'He armed himself with a broken bottle. I fought for my life. I was terrified by the ferocity of the attack. I was acting in a reasonable manner because I found it necessary to defend myself.
'The degree of force I used was reasonable. I acted in self-defence.'