MURDER TRIAL DAY ONE: Rushden man allegedly stabbed his friend to death in ‘act of pure aggression’

Steven Smith, 23, of Trafford Road, Rushden NNL-141029-101241001
Steven Smith, 23, of Trafford Road, Rushden NNL-141029-101241001

A 26-year-old Rushden man allegedly murdered his friend by stabbing him in the chest and back in an act of “pure aggression”, a court heard.

A trial started at Northampton Crown Court today (Wednesday) involving the case of Danney Beaumont, of Maple Road, Rushden, who is charged with the murder of Steven Smith.

Crown Court GV'

Crown Court GV'

The court heard that Mr Smith, a father-of-three, suffered fatal stab wounds after he became involved in an argument with Beaumont at his home address in Trafford Road, Rushden, in the early hours of Saturday, October 25 last year.

Opening the prosecution case, Amjad Malik said Mr Smith and the defendant were friends who had been drinking cider and wine together on the night of the alleged murder.

Mr Malik said Mr Smith’s partner had been in the house during the evening and had witnessed Beaumont carry out the second stab wound, in the lower left side of his back.

It is alleged the murder weapon was a five-and-a-half inch knife, kept in a block of five utensils above the sink in the kitchen of Mr Smith’s house.

The court heard the two men, who had known each other for two years, went out to get more alcohol shortly after midnight and came back to the house with a bottle of wine.

Mr Malik said it is the prosecution’s case that the two men then started arguing for a period of 15 minutes.

He said Mr Smith’s partner witnessed Mr Smith get Beaumont in a head-lock and saw wine glasses and bottles knocked to the floor.

Mr Malik said Mr Smith’s partner then went upstairs to tend to one of the children who had woken up and, when she came back downstairs, “in an image that will be ingrained in her mind”, she saw her boyfriend standing in the kitchen doorway, facing her, with blood pouring from a chest wound.

He said: “She saw Danney Beaumont was behind Mr Smith and he was holding a silver kitchen knife in his hand.”

The court heard that Mr Smith’s partner asked Beaumont to call for an ambulance but he “did nothing” and continued to stare at her.

Mr Malik said the woman then moved towards the charger cable for her mobile phone, which was out of battery, and then saw Beaumont stab her partner in the back with the knife.

It is alleged that Beaumont then went out the back door and ran away from the scene.

Mr Smith’s partner then went out into the street, screaming for help, and an ambulance arrived shortly afterwards.

Mr Smith was taken to Northampton General Hospital but died at 2.30am as a result of his injuries.

The court heard that Beaumont called police at 4.30am from an address in Rushden and was arrested on suspicion of murder.

Mr Malik said Beaumont’s response when he was cautioned by police was to say “Has a person died?”.

In his first police intervoew, Beaumont denied deliberately hurting Mr Smith and claimed that he had been the victim of an attack.

Mr Malik said that beaumont told officers that he was being punched by Mr Smith when “by pure chance” he found a knife on the floor.

The court heard that Beaumont claimed he held the blade upwards and “did not intend to hurt” Mr Smith.

Mr Malik said he told officers that Mr Smith “kept coming at him” and suffered stab wound son the front of his body.

When asked why he had not called an ambulance, Beaumont told officers that “he did not think Mr Smith’s injuries were that serious”.

Mr Malik said Beaumont said he had dumped the knife in a hedge near the house. However, the knife has never been recovered by police.

In another police interview, Beaumont denied stabbing Mr Smith in the back and said he had “never had his back to him at any point.”

Mr Malik alleged that Beaumont was guilty of murder and had created a “made up account” of what had happened.

He said: “This defendant is an aggressive man. He chose to make the decision to take the knife he had access to in the kitchen.

“He decided to stab Mr Smith, his so called friedn, in an act of pure aggression in the chest.

“Having completed this first action, he made the second decision to chose the cowardly option of stabbing him in the back.

“Having achived his purpose he then ran away.”

Beaumont denies a charge of murder. The trial is due to last two weeks.