'I was peacemaker before stabbing', brother of Gillingham father David Young tells court
Gillingham's David Young died in hospital
The brother of a dad-of-two who died from a stab wound inflicted in the early hours of New Year's Day has told how he tried to act as peacemaker before the tragedy.
Aaron Young said he had been holding onto his 28-year-old brother David after trouble started as they were walking home.
But he broke away and the next time Mr Young said he saw him he was slumped on the ground bleeding heavily from his left thigh.
He wept as he told how he asked: "Are you OK, bruv?" David Young replied that he had been stabbed.
He was taken to nearby Medway Maritime Hospital, but died four days later on January 5. The blade had penetrated an artery and led to complications.
David Young died after being stabbed in Windmill Road, Gillingham
Stuart Porter, 18, and a 17-year-old who cannot be identified for legal reasons, deny murder.
Porter, of Buttermere Close, Gillingham, and the other teenager, from Strood, also deny wounding John-Paul Smith with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
Mr Young said he, his brother, his partner Kirsty Bryant and friend Mr Smith started New Year's Eve celebrations at around 9.30pm and planned to go to The Cricketers pub in Gillingham, but it was full.
After drinks at two pubs they went to the Casino Rooms in Rochester with Ben Wilkins and Amie Isham, arriving at about 11.50pm.
"I was there just for a good time and celebrate New Year’s Eve with friends and family," said Mr Young. "Everybody was happy. It was a good atmosphere."
They left at about 2.10am and when they were unable to get a taxi decided to walk to David Young and Miss Bryant's home in Beatty Avenue, Gillingham.
Aaron Young said there was a noisy crowd outside the Tap and Tin club in Chatham. "I made sure our group was separate from them so that nothing could happen and we could get home safely," he told the jury at Maidstone Crown Court.
It was when they reached Windmill Road near Longhill Avenue, Gillingham, that they saw a "guy" wearing a T-shirt with hoops around it and with his arm around a girl.
"There was a bit of verbal," said Mr Young. "My brother said: 'What are you looking at?' I felt bad because this was the sort of thing I didn't want to happen. I wanted everyone to get home safely.
"Voices were being raised. I decided I needed to do something to stop this from happening. I positioned myself between my brother and the other guy.
David Young with his daughters Aliyah and Latia
"I was concentrating on what was inevitably going to happen. The other guy was saying 'Do you want it?' My brother tried to get past me. I held onto him as best I could.
"I told David to leave it alone. He said: 'He is giving it to me, why shouldn't I have a go back?' Punches were thrown. The first punch came from the other guy. It didn't make contact.
"My brother responded and hit him. The guy threw a punch which landed to the side of my brother's head. I got in the way, breaking them up. I just wanted there to be no more trouble.
"I wanted to diffuse the situation and everybody go home and get over the alcohol and it would be OK in the morning. I was talking to the other guy, saying: 'Just go home. There is no need for this.'
"He said: 'OK, you are right.' He walked up the road. Something was shouted up the road. Somebody with a dark top was running down the road. He seemed a bit angry.
"David was with me. I was making sure he didn't go. I was concentrating on making sure nothing else happened. As the guy was running down the road, John-Paul met him halfway.
Flowers at the spot in Windmill Road, Gillingham, where David Young was stabbed
"Obviously, there was going to be another coming together. I was more concerned with what my brother was going to do. I didn't want him to put himself in the position where blows would be traded.
"I was saying to him: 'Just leave it. We are going to go home and that's the end of it.'
"He said: 'Yes, that's fine.' I am holding on to him. We walked back towards Chatham Hill.
"He said: 'John-Paul is down there.' I said: 'He will be OK.' He said: 'You can let go because I am going to walk on my own.'
"He decided he was going to make a dart for it before I had time to get hold of him again. I didn't have a chance to stop him. He went towards Medway Hospital up the hill.
"I chased after him to try to stop him. As I approached there was a bit of fighting going on with the guy in the dark top. The other guy in the hooped top was lying on the floor.
"I stood over the guy and tried to find out what was going on. I guess he thought I was going to attack him. He kicked out. I bent down and hit him once.
The case was heard at Maidstone Crown Court
"I stood up and thought this is no way to deal with it. I turned around and noticed my brother was sitting on the kerb with his hand supporting him. His legs were in the road.
"When I looked down the road there was a crowd of people. There was some sort of commotion going on. I was more interested in trying to sort my brother.
"He was taking deep breaths. I said: 'What's wrong?' He sat up and was holding his left upper leg. I said: 'Are you OK?' He didn't reply. I asked him again: 'Are you OK bruv?'"
Mr Young choked back tears as he continued: "He said he had been stabbed. I bent down and saw his trousers were soaked. I put my hand there. To my horror when I pulled it away it was covered in blood.
"I said: 'I need help.' I saw Kirsty. She was screaming: 'Oh my God, he's been stabbed.'
"I called John-Paul for assistance. I hadn't seen any weapons. I didn't see what the other two men were doing.
"My brother needed me. I said: 'We have got to get him to hospital. I knew we needed to get him there quick because he had lost a lot of blood.
"We carried him down the road. We got to where there is a mini roundabout. We saw a police car and flagged it down. I was shouting: 'We need help.' I was angry.
"They put him in the back of the police car and started to do CPR."
Mr Young added he did not see the two other men again.
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