A convicted burglar has told a murder trial jury today of the last hours of his friend before he was stabbed to death.
Peter Beale, 39, was killed when a drugs deal went wrong after he robbed one of the dealers of drugs, cash and a wrist watch.
His friend Richard Barham claimed he had warned his pal that drug dealers might stab him if he robbed one of them, the court heard.
Barham, 51, was brought to Maidstone Crown Court from prison where he is serving a sentence for burglary.
Barham was with his pal in the hours before Mr Beale’s body was discovered in undergrowth near Rochester Bridge last September.
On trial is Levi Webb, 22, of Scolars Rise Strood, who denies carrying out what the prosecution claim was a revenge murder.
Judge Philip Statman told the jury that Barham, who struggles to read and write, was giving his evidence from the witness box, which is screened off from the dock.
Barham told how in September last year he was with his friend who he had known for between 10 to 15 years.
"I got paid that day and took prescription drugs," he said.
"I was smoking cocaine that night and invited Peter to come round. I gave him a strip of Rivotril. He took seven tablets.
"Peter said he wanted to rob some drug dealers but I told him: ‘Don't do that because around here drug dealers will stab you'."
He said the two of them were "drugged up" before they left his home to meet a dealer.
He added: “I was falling all over the place. I was drunk.”
He said they took a train to Chatham without a ticket and when caught, both gave false details to rail officials.
Barham contacted a drug dealer called Joe and was phoned by “Frank”, who he took as a runner.
He said: "I asked could one of my mates meet you. Frank agreed and said he was at the rail station. I said my mate wanted 10 rocks of crack cocaine.
"I told Peter I didn't want anything to do with this and so I walked on the left hand of the pavement.
"I heard him call me saying 'Come on' and as I went across he told me he had robbed Frank and taken 10 rocks, £380 in cash and a gold watch.
"I told him I didn't want anything to do with it because they knew where I lived."
He said the two then went into an alleyway and smoked crack cocaine.
"I don't know who stabbed who. I didn't see any weapons..." - Richard Barham
“I looked up the road and saw two people walking down.
"Peter went up and smacked Joe. I saw him punch him and he went to the floor.
"Peter then ran down the road. I jumped over a railing as I heard one of them say: "You're next" and I said: "Yeah if you can catch me!’
"I recognised Joe. We robbed them. Peter robbed them.
"I don't know who stabbed who. I didn't see any weapons.
"My partner told me next day that Peter got stabbed up seven times.”
Billy Dole, 28, of Chorister Close, Hoo, had earlier admitted murdering Mr Beale from Sittingbourne and will be sentenced later.
The trial continues.