Crawley murder trial - Boy says fatal stabbing of Arnold Potter was 'fight or flight'

The prosecution say Arnold Potter (right) was stabbed to death with a knife similar to this police replica. Picture: Sussex Police
The prosecution say Arnold Potter (right) was stabbed to death with a knife similar to this police replica. Picture: Sussex Police

A boy accused of chasing and murdering a Crawley man has said it was a case of ‘I had better stab him before he stabs me’.

The 17-year-old drug dealer – who cannot be named for legal reasons – was grilled by the prosecution today as his trial continues.

Police investigating the incident last November

Police investigating the incident last November

The boy is charged with murdering 24-year-old Arnold Potter on November 15 last year and possessing a knife. He denies both charges.

He took the witness box at Hove Crown Court today and answered questions about how Mr Potter came by the two deep stab wounds that killed him.

Yesterday the jury watched video of police interviews with the defendant, in which he tearfully told officers what happened.

'I could see a white top getting redder and redder'

Answering questions first from defence barrister Michael Ivers QC, the boy described again how Mr Potter had tried to rob him but he had jumped clear and drawn a knife.

After a chase he caught up with Mr Potter, who had stopped in Watson Close, he told the jury.

The boy said: “He’s turned round and sort of opened his jacket. I could see a white top getting redder and redder with blood.”

He told the court he left the scene in a panic.

He denied wanting to hurt Mr Potter but accepted that he was responsible for his death.

READ MORE: Prosecution says Arnold Potter was stabbed to death in 'deliberate attack' by teenage drug dealer

Prosecutor questions the defendant about Arnold Potter's injuries

Prosecutor Rowan Jenkins asked him what he had been feeling during moment when he and Mr Potter were fighting with knives.

The boy said: “It is a fight or flight situation. He’s going to get stabbed or I am going to get stabbed.”

Mr Jenkins said: “You have made the decision that you were going to use your knife on him.”

The boy replied: “To defend myself, yes. It seemed the only option that I would come out better off.

“If I ran away I have the possibility of him coming behind me and literally stabbing me in the back.”

Boy asked how he escaped with no injuries

The prosecutor asked: “Arnold managed to totally and utterly miss you with every one of the swings with his knife?”

“Yes,” the boy replied. “I do not know how he did but he did.”

The prosecutor also asked the boy about a bloody handprint that was found on the road.

“Arnold went down to the ground there didn’t he?”

“No,” the boy replied.

“It is there you drove your knife into his back, wasn’t it?”

“No.”

The trial continues.

MORE FROM THE TRIAL: Judge warns jurors about knife crime as case begins