"I was scared and did not want him to get back up" - Defendant claims self-defence in Hastings stabbing trial

Police at the scene. Picture: Daniel Burton
Police at the scene. Picture: Daniel Burton

One of two men accused of 'viciously and callously' assaulting a man in Hastings has told a jury that he was acting in self-defence.

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Two men are standing trial at Hove Crown Court charged with inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent. They deny the offence.

They are: Tyler Jones, 26, of Darvel Down in Netherfield, Battle and Callum Willard, 19, of Harkness Drive in Hastings.

Another man - Reece Lefevre, 20, of The Cheviots in Hastings - has pleaded guilty to his part in the incident, the prosecutor said. It was he, the court has heard, who inflicted the stab wounds.

'He grabs me and throws me onto the ground'

Giving evidence in his defence, Willard talked about his encounter with Ian Waters.

He said: "He grabs me and throws me onto the ground with him landing on top of me and then from then on it's all a blur.

"I got up off the floor and I booted him once or twice.

"That was just on instinct because I didn't want him getting back up and getting me."

His defence barrister Ross Talbott asked: "What did you think he would do if he got up?"

Willard: "Grab me and throw me to the ground again.

"I have got up and I have booted him and I have left the scene."

MORE FROM THE TRIAL: Defendant in Hastings stabbing trial questioned over Snapchat video showing man covered in blood

Defendant Callum Willard: I was acting in self-defence

Mr Talbott said: "Do you think that you have done anything wrong?"

Willard: "Yeah. The kicks to the head after I had gotten up, I believe they were.

"I was just scared and did not want him to get back up.

"I had so much adrenaline, fear going through me."

Mr Talbott: "Are you trying to hide anything from this jury?"

Willard: "No."

Mr Talbott: "Were you acting to defend yourself?"

Willard: "Yes."

Mr Talbott: "Are you guilty?"

Willard: "No."

Prosecutor: 'You were angry about the initial confrontation'

Prosecutor Jonathan Atkinson asked him: "Once things get into the middle of the road you were not defending yourself you were joining in, weren't you?"

Willard: "I was defending myself."

Mr Atkinson: "You were angry about that initial confrontation and you wanted to teach him a lesson, didn't you?"

Willard: "No."

Mr Atkinson: "You were kicking him in the head, the others had joined in and you saw Mr Lefevre stab him.

"That is why you ran away."

Willard: "No."

Mr Atkinson: "The reason you didn't run off any earlier is because you wanted to carry on attacking Mr Waters to cause him as much harm as you could."

Willard: "No."

The trial continues.