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Backstreet Boys singing session ended in MMA fighter Dennis Jones allegedly murdering Luke Sullivan in High Street, Rochester, flat

A cage fighter accused of murder has told a jury he bonded with his alleged victim over the Backstreet Boys.

Dennis Jones, who has denied murder claiming self defence, said he has "strange music tastes" and a shared love of boy bands made it seem like him and drinking pal Luke Sullivan were "best mates".

Luke Sullivan
Luke Sullivan

But the Mixed Martial Artist who works as an IT consultant claimed he was later confronted by Sullivan.

He claimed Sullivan, 31, suddenly appeared in his bedroom brandishing a knife and the two began to wrestle over the weapon.

The 37-year-old - who denies murder - told Maidstone Crown Court that since the incident in November 2019 he has seen a psychiatrist and psychologist.

"It was very traumatic and I am very fragile and emotional and have been prescribed antidepressants."

Jones, of High Street, Rochester said Mr Sullivan, who is from the Isle of Sheppey, had kicked his bedroom door and confronted him while brandishing a knife

"He was twice the size of me, not literally but he was much bigger. It was scary. It all happened really fast. If you read (my police statement) it would seem like it went on forever but it was really fast."

Dennis Jones is accused of murder
Dennis Jones is accused of murder

Defence barrister David Hislop QC asked: "Did you pick up the knife intending to stab him?"

Jones said: "No."

Mr Hislop added: "Looking back on it now, did you stab him?"

Jones said: "It would have been as we wrestled when he was stabbed. But when I was interviewed by police I definitely did not know I had stabbed him."

Mr Hislop added: "When you stabbed him what did you believe was going to happen?"

Luke Sullivan
Luke Sullivan

Jones replied: "I believed I was going to die. It all happened so fast."

He told the jury that after the incident he told a friend: "I feel like killing myself."

Jones added: "I said it because I didn't believe anyone was going to believe me. It doesn't seem real to me.

"I was sitting there with my dog and then the door opened and he came and attacked me. I thought no-one was going to believe me.

"I was acting on instinct... There was no choice. The only choice I made was to go to sleep. The only other choice I had was to defend myself. I wasn't trying to hurt anyone.

Police cars and an ambulance were called to Rochester High Street early on the morning Mr Sullivan's body was discovered. Picture: Sally at Off The Wall Photography
Police cars and an ambulance were called to Rochester High Street early on the morning Mr Sullivan's body was discovered. Picture: Sally at Off The Wall Photography

"I knew he was going to kill me."

Earlier, he told police how the two men had been drinking in a nearby pub when he claimed Mr Sullivan had been "life of the party" and was "obviously drunk."

He said the two had been singing together in the pub after a shared interest in bands like the Backstreet Boys.

Read more from this trial

"That's the music I really like, boy bandy sort of things. We were singing and he knew all the lyrics to all the songs and I was thinking... like, oh this is quite cool... 'cos normally I've got strange music tastes.

"He really took a liking over that and so we actually got on really well. I thought we were just like best mates at that point, you know."

Jones claimed later that night Mr Sullivan's mood changed, adding: "He did start to get a bit strange... a bit more aggressive."

The prosecution has alleged that Jones stabbed Mr Sullivan three times - one of the wounds proving fatal.

The jury is expected to retire to consider its verdict later this week.

To read more of our in depth coverage of all of the major trials coming out of crown and magistrates' courts across the county, click here.

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