Published: 14:38, 11 February 2020
| Updated: 14:44, 11 February 2020
A teenager who denies the attempted murder of a man who suffered stab wounds to his neck and back, claims he repeatedly punched the victim and didn’t didn't have a knife on him.
Jacob Cromwell argued he repeatedly punched Ashley Grainger, 26, after a gang assaulted him in Ramsgate, but didn’t possess a blade.
The 19-year-old is accused of stabbing Mr Grainger twice in the back and once in the neck, as he laid defenceless in Harbour Street.
Prosecutors allege Cromwell, who is on trial at Canterbury Crown Court, went “way over the top” as a group of yobs punched, kicked and stomped Mr Grainger before “calmly” stabbing him.
Cross-examining, Simon Taylor asked Cromwell: “Is it the case you lied in your defence statement, you lied to the jury, and you walked over to Ashley Grainger and stabbed him in the neck?
“Definitely not,” Cromwell replied.
“Were you pulled away because you had a weapon in your hand going way over the top? “You intended to kill him didn’t you?” Mr Taylor continued.
“No,” Cromwell responded.
Moments before the alleged stabbing, Mr Grainger had been punched, kicked and stamped to the ground by Cromwell and others outside Crusties Bakery.
Mr Taylor claimed Cromwell could be seen on CCTV “fiddling with his belt”, drawing the blade, kneeling and delivering the near-fatal blow.
But Cromwell argued he was merely grasping a phone, didn’t possess a blade and was unaware who stabbed Mr Grainger.
He added footage showing him fiddling with his waistband was, in fact, an attempt to prevent his trousers falling down.
The violence erupted outside United Taxis in Harbour Street on May 11 just after 3am following Mr Grainger’s ongoing feud with co-defendent Casey Carter, the court heard.
Tensions flared when a row broke out between the two in Clique Bar, Harbour Parade, spilling onto the street.
Another victim, Marvin Mackintosh, was assaulted outside United Taxi’s office.
Mr Grainger told the court of his shock after realising he had been stabbed.
“They stopped kicking, I stood up and I discovered that I was bleeding for a while.
“I had a grey top on - that had turned red. That is when I panicked, I realised I had been stabbed - a cold kind of came over me.
“At that point I only realised it was my neck, then, in the ambulance, I discovered I had been stabbed in the lung as well.
“I will never forget that five minute break before the ambulance came, I just had my eyes shut praying at the time.”
He told detectives an unknown person held his neck, stemming the loss of blood, before medics arrived.
Rushed to King’s College Hospital in London where he would stay for 11 days, surgeons battled to repair three main veins in his neck, vocal cords and a lung, the court heard.
"I had a grey top on - that had turned red. That is when I panicked, I realised I had been stabbed - a cold kind of came over me..."
Mr Grainger told officers he was unable to swallow and fed through a drip for nine days but miraculously escaped any bruising to the body.
Cromwell, of no fixed address, denies attempted murder, wounding with intent but pleaded guilty to violent disorder.
Others on trail include Harry Ousley, 19, of Charlotte Square, Margate, who denies violent disorder.
Kieran Day, 19, of Dane Crescent, Ramsgate, denies attempting to cause grievous bodily harm and violent disorder.
Isaac Roberts, 19, of Chilton Lane, Ramsgate, denies violent disorder and causing actual bodily harm against Marvin McIntosh, who intervened.
Twin Joshua Roberts, 19, of the same address, denies actual bodily harm, grevious bodily harm and violent disorder.
Four defendants have already pleaded guilty for their part in the violence, and will be sentenced at a later date.
They are Jayden Cashin, 19, of Beatrice Road, Margate, A 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, Ashley Dorsett, 19, of Inverary Court, Ramsgate, and
Casey Carter, 19, of Beach Walk, Broadstairs.
More by this authorSean Axtell