Man denies murder in Denaby

The scene at Tadcaster Close,Denaby,Police and Scenes of Crime Officers at work in the area
The scene at Tadcaster Close,Denaby,Police and Scenes of Crime Officers at work in the area

An armed robber has denied murder by stabbing a man in the heart and claimed he only intended to “scare” his victim with the knife, a court heard.

Sheffield Crown Court heard how Damien Noble broke into the Denaby flat of James King and stabbed him in the chest before fleeing the scene with cash and drugs.

Mr King, 40, died from his wounds but Noble told a jury that the stabbing was an accident.

The court heard that Noble, 31, used a ladder to get to the first floor flat at Tadcaster Close on November 17 last year.

Mr King was asleep on his sofa when Noble put a pillow across his face and demanded he hand over his heroin.

A struggle ensued and Mr King was fatally stabbed in the chest.

Noble, formerly of West Street, Mexborough, who admits manslaughter but denies murder, said he did not intend to kill him.

Judge Peter Coulson quoted to the jury a statement Noble had given in court, in which he said: “I put the pillow case over his head and put the knife over his chest and he has then gone to sit up, I did not realise I had stabbed him.

“I intended to hold it to him so he could feel it and he would be scared and give me the drugs.”

Mr King’s bare-chested body was found at 6.30am – he had died from a single stab wound to the heart which was seven centimetres deep.

Forensics officers found bloody fingerprints on the window ledge and blood stains throughout the flat.

The court heard King and Noble knew each other and were both heroin users.

Prosecutor Simon Waley said this was not a “spur of the moment decision” and it was a well planned attack as Noble had covered the knife handle in tape so his finger prints would not be detected.

Mark George, defending, said Noble had only intended to steal from Mr King not to kill him.

He added any evidence of preparation was to rob and not to commit murder.

The trial continues.