Home   Dover   News   Article

Ajay Porter on trial accused of murdering pensioner Derek O’Hare in Anstee Road, Dover

A man says he was acting in self-defence when he stabbed a close friend seven times and left him in a pool of blood, a jury has heard.

Ajay Porter, of no fixed address, is on trial accused of murdering Derek O’Hare, 66, outside his home in Anstee Road, Dover, last December.

Derek O'Hare died after an incident at his home in Anstee Road, Dover, in December 2023. Picture: Kent Police
Derek O'Hare died after an incident at his home in Anstee Road, Dover, in December 2023. Picture: Kent Police

The 36-year-old denies charges of murder and possessing an offensive weapon, claiming his actions were reasonable and necessary to defend himself.

Opening the case on Tuesday, prosecutor Nina Ellin KC said the defendant’s actions constituted a “vicious and merciless attack”.

“Shortly after 10pm on Monday, December 11 last year, following a disturbance outside his flat, Derek O’Hare was found slumped on the landing with blood around his body,” she began.

“Emergency services were called and they attended, but despite lifesaving efforts being made, he was pronounced dead at 10.55pm that night. He had been stabbed seven times.”

Canterbury Crown Court heard the two men were friends and often took drugs together, but that in the days leading up to the incident, Mr O’Hare had accused Porter of stealing drugs from him.

Police in Anstee Road, Dover, after the incident
Police in Anstee Road, Dover, after the incident

The court heard Porter, who was dressed in a white polo shirt and sitting quietly in the dock, intended to visit Mr O’Hare on the evening of the alleged murder to “clear the air” in relation to the disagreement.

“It was about 10pm that neighbours started reporting hearing raised voices from two male voices,” continued the prosecutor.

“One neighbour heard the words: ‘Big man, big man, you’re not such a big man now. You’re not as hard as you think.’

“To which he heard Mr O’Hare reply: ‘I’ve done a lot for you over the years’.”

Ms Ellin told how a few moments later, another neighbour opened their door to see the victim “slumped with his shoulder against the wall”.

Some nine police vehicles were spotted at Anstee Road, in Dover, after Derek O’Hare was found dead in December
Some nine police vehicles were spotted at Anstee Road, in Dover, after Derek O’Hare was found dead in December

“His eyes were open, he wasn’t making any sound, but there was blood pooling all around him,” said Ms Ellin, recounting the neighbour’s witness statement.

She then said, when asked by one of the neighbours why he had done it, Mr Porter replied: “Look at what he’s done other than me, he’s beaten me with his bat”.

“The neighbour saw him throw the stick (bat) on the floor as he went down the stairs running,” added Ms Ellin.

Emergency services attended, set up a crime scene and recovered the stick. But despite a thorough search of the area, the knife used in the attack could not be found.

After police issued a warrant for his arrest, Porter turned himself in four days later and, with the benefit of legal advice, was questioned by officers.

The defendant confirmed he had visited O’Hare’s address on the night of the incident and on arrival, his friend repeatedly hit him in the head with a wooden stick.

Derek O’Hare was stabbed seven times
Derek O’Hare was stabbed seven times

“Asked why he didn’t just leave, he said he was afraid that he would get hit more and that Derek would kill him,” continued the prosecutor.

“He tried to get the bat off Derek, but he can’t say if he did or not because he then says that he blacked out and that the next memory is walking along London Road towards his mother’s house.

“He said he didn’t touch Derek and he didn’t see a knife at all.

“He said he didn’t do it, he said even though he blacked out, he knew he wouldn’t do that to anyone.”

Porter admitted on the evening of Mr O’Hare’s death, he had consumed four ciders, five-to-six beers, just shy of half a bottle of rum as well as having smoked cannabis and possibly also having taken speed.

Blood samples taken from the stick revealed strong DNA links to both Porter and Mr O’Hare.

A court heard Derek O’Hare had been stabbed seven times and ‘left in a pool of blood’
A court heard Derek O’Hare had been stabbed seven times and ‘left in a pool of blood’

“The crown says that even if Derek had opened his front door holding a stick, he was soon disarmed, and it and the knife were used on him in a vicious and merciless attack,” said Ms Ellin.

“The defendant unlawfully killed Mr O’Hare, intending to kill him or to cause him really serious harm.”

A pathologist said one of the seven wounds was 12cm deep which would have been “unsurvivable” after cutting through Mr O’Hare’s rib and piercing his aorta.

Porter’s barrister Ian Henderson KC told the jury the defendant’s actions on the night of the incident were reasonable.

Mr Henderson said: “He was expecting to meet Derek and clear the air in relation to the allegation that Derek had made about him stealing drugs.”

“He began climbing the stairs up to Derek’s flat. He was stood on the landing and - unbeknown to Mr Porter - Mr O’Hare was in the possession of a stick and a knife and as Mr Porter got within striking distance, Mr O’Hare attacked him with the stick.

“What Mr Porter did was in sole response to the violent and sustained attack on him. We will be asking you to conclude that in the context of these circumstances, Ajay Porter’s actions were reasonable.”

The jury also heard evidence from Mr O’Hare’s eldest son, Layne Joseph O’Hare who said that his father was the sort of person who always stuck up for himself and would call out wrongdoing where he saw it.

He added, however, that he had never seen his father in a fight.

The trial, which is set to last at least three weeks, continues.

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More