Murder accused did not realise man had been stabbed in 'tug-of-war' struggle

A murder investigation has been launched in North Walsham after reports that a man was stabbed in th

Matthew Constantinou, 42, has gone on trial having denied the murder of Thomas Moore in North Walsham in October 2020. - Credit: Archant

A man accused of murder said he had not realised the victim had been stabbed during a "tug-of-war" struggle, a court heard.

Thomas Moore, 42, went with his friend Ricky Marshall to retrieve £10 Mr Marshall was owed by Matthew Constantinou for cannabis.

Norwich Crown Court heard the pair turned up at Constantinou’s address, in Antingham Drive, North Walsham, where he lived with his mum, to get the cash back.

But they were chased away by Constantinou before ending up on Bacton Road where, close to the junction of Melbourne Road, Mr Moore was fatally stabbed.

A murder investigation has been launched in North Walsham after reports that a man was stabbed in th

Matthew Constantinou, 42, has gone on trial having denied the murder of Thomas Moore in North Walsham in October 2020. - Credit: Archant

Constantinou, 42, of Antingham Drive, North Walsham has gone on trial having denied murder following the attack on October 2 last year.

Giving evidence on Friday, May 7, Constantinou told Elizabeth Marsh QC, defending, he was in his garage at home when he heard raised voices outside.

He heard a man shouting something about getting "all your money" and his mum, who was upset, saying she would call the police.

He said one of the men, who had grabbed something from inside the garage,  was saying he was going to "cut you up, I'm going to cut your mum up and finish the job".

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Constantinou said he was in shock and grabbed a baseball bat from the garage and started swinging it to scare them.

During the struggle that ensued on Constantinou said Mr Moore, who was trying to grab the baseball bat,  looked "like a man possessed".

He said he felt scared and told how he did not want to let go of the bat as he would "be in line for an absolute beating".

He noticed a knife drop and grabbed it in one hand while still having hold of the baseball bat in the other.

Constantinou said he was involved in a "tug-of-war" with Mr Moore and described trying to push him away before he went "quite limp".

He gave Mr Moore a "final push" before the victim let go of the bat and the defendant let go of the knife.

Constantinou then backed away before returning home to check on his mum and call 999.

Police at the scene of where Thomas Moore died in North Walsham. Picture: Casey Cooper-Fiske

Matthew Constantinou, 42, has gone on trial having denied the murder of Thomas Moore in North Walsham in October 2020. - Credit: Archant

Ms Marsh asked Constantinou whether he was aware Mr Moore had received a stab wound to his neck.

He replied that he was not aware and suggested it might have been "indicative of a struggle".

She asked whether Constantinou accepted he was responsible for the death of Mr Moore.

He replied: "Inadvertently, yes I do."

But when asked whether he intended to harm Mr Moore, Constantinou replied: "No, I did not."

In cross examination, Peter Gair, prosecuting, said Constantinou had been expecting a visit that evening and had been "lying in wait" in the garage.

The defendant answered "no".

Mr Gair put it to him that once Mr Marshall and Mr Moore were running away he would have no reason to run after them.

But Constantinou said he had "no idea whether they would come back".

Mr Gair said: "You did intentionally stab Thomas (Moore) in the neck, didn't you?"

He replied: "No, I did not."

Mr Gair put it to Constantinou that "he (Mr Moore) had wronged you as had Ricky and you were going to finish off the job".

Mr Constantinou said: "Incorrect".

The trial continues.

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