'Man stabbed in home' - court heard

THREE men were equally to blame for the murder of a man who bled to death after being stabbed in the doorway of his Essex home, a court has been told.

Annie Davidson

THREE men were equally to blame for the murder of a man who bled to death after being stabbed in the doorway of his Essex home, a court has been told.

Terence Benstead, his brother Darren Benstead and Wayne Johnston all went to the Clacton-on-Sea flat of Ian Wilson following a row on June 9 last year where the 29-year-old suffered a fatal injury.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard yesterday that it was not known who actually stabbed Mr Wilson but prosecutor Stephen Harvey QC told the jury of eight men and four woman that it did not matter.

“The prosecution case is that they all went to the flat intending Ian Wilson, at the very least, some really serious injury,” he said.

The Benstead brothers, both of Oxford Crescent, Clacton, and Johnston, of Grove Avenue, Walton-on-the-Naze, all deny murdering Mr Wilson.

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The court was told that the dispute between the men “originated from extremely minor matters” which Mr Harvey added could “best be described as friendship existing between the parties turning sour.”

He said Mr Wilson's friend Jade Bladon had made a joke to Darren Benstead during a phone call about Benstead's mother's sexual habits and also called her an insulting name.

“He made it clear to Jade and others during the hours that followed that he was extremely upset about it and had feelings of animosity towards her so much that he threatened her over the telephone,” said Mr Harvey.

The jury was told that Mr Wilson heard the threat because Miss Bladon was in his Old Road flat and had her mobile on speaker phone and he spoke to Darren Benstead himself “warning him off, effectively.”

Mr Harvey said Darren Benstead, 30, Terence Benstead, 28, and 40-year-old Johnston went to Mr Wilson's flat later that day - June 9, 2007 - after deciding “to confront Ian Wilson in his own home.”

He said Johnston accepted he was an alcoholic, Terence Benstead accepted he was a heroin abuser and all three had been drinking during that day.

Mr Wilson's friend Joe Lawrie, who was at the flat with him, was interviewed for two days after Mr Wilson's death and told police there had been a knock at the door and the three defendants tried to force their way in.

Terence Benstead managed to get inside and became involved in a struggle with Mr Lawrie while Mr Wilson held the door shut.

After Benstead was pushed back outside the situation “momentarily calmed” before Terence Benstead allegedly became upset again and shouted “give me the tool”, Mr Harvey said.

Mr Lawrie said the door was being closed when an arm appeared around it and went towards Mr Wilson just before the door shut.

Mr Wilson had been stabbed once in the liver and bled to death despite his friends calling the emergency services and trying to stem the bleeding.

The case continues today.

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