A MAN has told a murder trial that an old friend turned up at his home and said: “I have done something stupid... I have slit someone’s throat.”

York man Mark Johnson was giving evidence yesterday at Leeds Crown Court, where Brian Cox, 29, is accused of murdering father-of-five Mark Webb, 40, in Acomb, in March.

Mr Johnson said he had known Cox for many years, having been to the same school.

He said: “We all knocked around with the same people.” He said Cox had knocked on his window and came into his flat, looking flustered and panicking.

Mr Johnson said: “I could tell he had been running. He was slightly out of breath, sweating.

“He made a point of not touching anything, not shaking hands. He said: ‘I have done something stupid.’”

Mr Johnson said he asked what he meant, and Cox said: “I have slit someone’s throat” and then said “a guy came at him with a knife and he turned the knife back on him”.

Asked if he gave Cox any advice, he said: “To do the right thing and turn himself in.”

He said Cox had asked him to look after his jacket but he had refused, because it could have been incriminating evidence.

Later, Home Office forensic pathologist Dr Stuart Hamilton told the jury that when he carried out a post mortem examination on Mr Webb, he found a wound around the throat measuring 19 centimetres and two centimetres deep, which had cut through the front wall of the jugular vein.

He said this left a “gaping hole”, allowing blood to escape heavily and almost immediately.

Cox, whose address has been given as Bede Avenue, Clifton, denies murder. Susan Webb, of Middleton Road, denies three charges of perverting the course of justice and Dawn Coates, of Chapel Terrace, denies one such charge.

The trial continues.