‘It was him or me’: Stabbing victim killed ‘with his own knife’
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
A Lowestoft father was stabbed to death as he tried attacking a love rival with a knife, the man accused of his murder has claimed.
Steven Butcher told jurors he was acting in self-defence after Scott Tarrant drunkenly staggered towards him, saying Mr Tarrant would have been the one charged with murder if he didn't react how he did.
The pair began fighting shortly after 11pm on July 7 when Mr Tarrant found Butcher's motorbike outside the house of his former partner, and mother of his child, Rebecca Supple.
Earlier in the trial, jurors heard from a witness who saw 28-year-old Mr Tarrant hiding behind a bush, before re-emerging to move Butcher's motorbike.
Butcher, 24, of Ashfield Crescent, Lowestoft, said: 'As I went to get my bike I heard footsteps behind me and saw Scott. He seemed out of it and was staggering towards me.
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'There was something in his right hand but I didn't realise it was a knife at first. He started telling me I was a dead man and that he had warned me once already to stay away from Rebecca.
'He lunged at me and I grabbed hold of his wrists and held on firmly because my life depended on it.
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'I moved the knife down towards his chest and pushed down. The knife went in but there was no change in him. I don't think he realised.'
Butcher said he acted in self-defence in the attack.
He told jurors: 'If I didn't react how I did, he would be here today and I would be the one who was gone.
'I am not entirely innocent, but I was acting to defend myself.
'I felt like my life was in danger and I needed to keep that knife away from me. I didn't feel like I had a choice.'
Butcher then admitted kicking Mr Tarrant, who had been stabbed nine times, to the chest, knocking him to the ground.
He said: 'His eyes rolled to the back of his head and his England strip started filling with red, then I saw a number of stab wounds.
'I saw the knife next to him and I don't understand why but I picked it up and threw it down a drain. If I wanted it to never be found I would have taken it to the fields or woodland areas, and I wouldn't have told people I put it there.
'We were the only people there so who else was going to take the blame? It was his fault but I panicked and ran.'
After leaving the scene, Butcher 'unexpectedly' met a friend in Reydon Mews, near to where the incident occurred in Underwood Close, where he changed his clothes.
He said: 'I feel ashamed of myself. I feel broken. I didn't want him to die. I wouldn't wish anyone dead. It all happened so fast.
'I feel ever so sorry for the pain I have caused.'
Earlier that night, Miss Supple invited Butcher to visit after Mr Tarrant failed to meet her as planned.
Butcher said: 'The next thing I knew there was a loud bang and then banging on the front door.
'He sounded angry and I told her to let him in to talk because I didn't think he would show aggression towards me in front of her, but she told me to sit down and said he would get bored and go away.
'I wasn't sure what their relationship was at that time, and I don't know why she invited me round if she knew he would turn up.'
The pair then heard a second bang and went to the window to see Butcher's motorbike on its side.
He said: 'I said if he has done anything to my bike he is going to get ****** up.
'I don't know why but I picked a knife up from the drawer. I didn't know if he had a weapon and I took it to protect myself from him, but it was stupid.'
Butcher then told jurors he handed the knife willingly to Miss Supple, before going outside to stand his motorbike up.
He returned to the house, picked up his keys, helmet and phone and told her he was leaving. He denied picking up the knife for a second time.
The trial is set to continue on Monday, January 28.