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"I just flipped and saw red," says murder accused
5:14pm Monday 2nd September 2013 in News
A TEENAGER accused of murdering a "defenceless" older boy today told a jury he "just flipped and saw red" before the stabbing.
The 17-year-old, who was 16 at the time, claimed he wanted to flee when he saw Michael "Angel" Graham on Scarborough sea front but was "frozen to the spot".
He told Teesside Crown Court he could not remember removing from his pocket the flick-knife a friend had bought for him that afternoon.
He maintained he thought he was only punching 19-year-old Mr Graham in the back - when he was actually stabbing him.
The jury has been told Mr Graham, 19, of Scarborough and with links to Leeds, died after being stabbed 12 times in the back in a brawl on Scarborough seafront.
Mr Graham's 17-year-old friend was also wounded in the leg, the jury has heard.
Victim and killer had been friends but fell out after Mr Graham taunted the younger boy for sleeping with a 12-year-old girl, it has been alleged.
Today in court, the accused said he and seven other teenagers made their way down to Foreshore Road then spotted Mr Graham and his 17-year-old friend.
As he got down to the bottom of some steps - with the knife in the right hand jacket pocket - he saw one of his friends and Mr Graham fighting.
The defendant and the rest of the group were in a semi-circle watching Angel beating the other man up, the court heard.
"I was watching him being beaten up and thought I can't leave him here while that's happening," he said.
He said the text insults he and Mr Graham had traded were going through his head along with the older boy's name-calling and "bullying".
He went on: "I just flipped and saw red. I could not control myself. I came up from behind. I thought I was just hitting him in the back."
Angel died from multiple wounds after the incident on April 13. The accused, who cannot be named for legal reasons , denies murder. The trial continues.