Dad accused of murder denies his account is a 'desperate lie'

Winsford Road in Bury St Edmunds where Neil Charles was fatally wounded

Neil Charles (inset) died after suffering a knife wound in Winsford Road, Bury St Edmunds - Credit: Archant/Supplied

A Suffolk man accused of being involved in the alleged “vigilante" killing of a thief after he tried the door handles of cars outside his home has denied his claim that the victim ran on to his knife was a “desperate lie.”

During his second day in the witness box at Ipswich Crown Court, David King denied deliberately stabbing 47-year-old Neil Charles and said he couldn’t say if Mr Charles had intended to kill himself when he ran on to the knife.

“I can’t say what was on his mind at that time,” said King.

Asked by prosecution counsel Christopher Paxton QC if he was telling the jury that his knife went into Mr Charles’ chest because Mr Charles ran between 2.5 and 3m onto it, he replied: “Correct."

He denied what he was saying was a “desperate lie” and said: “I was the one who was scared for my life. I didn’t attack him he attacked me."

King accepted that he’d told the jury yesterday that it was hard for him to be standing in the dock facing a murder charge as he felt he’d done nothing wrong.

Asked by Mr Paxton: “You see yourself as a victim?” King replied: “Yes.”

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King denied that he had self-pity for what he’d lost as a result of being accused of murdering 47-year-old Neil Charles and not for what he’d done to Mr Charles.

King, 55, and his son Edward, 19, both of Radnor Close, Bury St Edmunds have denied murdering Mr Charles on June 20 last year and an alternative charge of manslaughter.

King has claimed he had been “scared for his life” after Mr Charles threw a bike at him with “full force” after he accused him of being a thief.

He said he had pulled out a military-style knife from his pocket and held it out in front of him hoping it would deter Mr Charles from coming towards him.

He claimed that as he stood “rooted to the spot”  Mr Charles had “quickly” come towards him onto the knife.

He said Mr Charles had then stopped and taken a step back before making a noise and saying: “You’ve hurt me.”

King said that he and his 19-year-old son Edward, who was carrying a small Samurai sword, had gone out after being alerted by their security system that an intruder was on their driveway.

David King has admitted holding the knife that caused the fatal wound which resulted in Mr Charles’ death but denied causing it deliberately.

It has been alleged they hunted down Mr Charles and stabbed him after he tried the door handles of cars parked outside their home.

Mr Paxton QC has claimed they delivered their "own form of justice" on Mr Charles in the early hours of the morning around 70 metres from their family home.

He described what they did as an act of "vigilante violence”.

Mr Charles suffered a 12cm single stab wound to the chest and a slash wound to his knee and died two days later.

Mr Paxton said Mr Charles had a "long career" as a thief and burglar and the prosecution accepted he was out that night stealing or looking to steal. 

Mr Paxton claimed the defendants had an "obsession" with weapons and at their home had knives, knuckledusters, machetes, and shotguns - which David King had licences for as a registered firearms holder. 

In a 999 call after the alleged attack, David King claimed Mr Charles had run on to a knife he was holding after hitting him with his bike.

The trial continues.