St Albans stabbing murder trial: accused claims self defence

Flower, candles, beer bottles and messages on London Road

Flower, candles, beer bottles and messages on London Road - Credit: Archant

A plasterer accused of murdering a St Albans man in a street fight told a court today (Tuesday) that he had acted in self defence.

Paul Crosbie, 26, admits he stabbed Emille Stapleton, 20, known as Millz, in the early hours of October 24 last year but claims he lashed out because his victim was squeezing the breath out of him.

He has pleaded not guilty to murder and to having a bladed article in a public place.

The stabbing followed an earlier incident in London Road when someone in Crosbie’s group kicked the car in which Mr Stapleton and two friends were passengers.

The second confrontation at 3am resulted in Mr Stapleton, a former pupil of Marlborough Science Academy, being stabbed in the back and pronounced dead at the scene.

Crosbie told Cambridge Crown Court that Mr Stapleton had swung punches at him in the earlier incident and when he heard the group had returned he had grabbed a knife from the kitchen of the flat he shared in Benedictine Place in a panic.

He saw fighting in the street which involved Mr Stapleton and when he went down, he claimed he was swept off his feet by the vicim who was squeezing him hard. He stabbed him so he would let go of him and maintained that he did not intend to kill Mr Stapleton or seriously hurt him.

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The full story can be found in Thursday’s edition of the Herts Advertiser.