A drug dealer who stabbed a customer in broad daylight in Epsom High Street came to the town after hearing drug-taking was rife in the area, a court has heard.
Deighton Wilson, 17, from Thornton Heath, appeared at Guildford Crown Court today, May 15, to stand trial for wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm to Carlos Ferreira on November 27 last year.
Mr Wilson claims he used the knife in self defence after Mr Ferreira and his friend Dean Price stole drugs from him.
George Hepburn Scott, defending, revealed to the jury this morning that Mr Ferreira, had only been released from prison last October, after serving six months for a string of burglaries in 2012 all committed in Epsom - from the Ladbrokes betting shop, William Hill bookmakers, Pizza Express, Mountain Warehouse, Spreadeagle Walk and Forfront Net.
Yesterday Richard Elliott, prosecuting, told the court that the trio met in Rosebery Park, in Epsom, before travelling to Epsom High Street, where the fight, in which Mr Ferreira was stabbed in his rib, thigh and leg by Mr Wilson, broke out.
Mr Elliott began day two of the trial by telling the jury that Mr Wilson stabbed his victim after a fight started between the group because the two men had stolen some of his cannabis.
The barrister said that, in these circumstances, the use of the knife to stab Mr Ferreira was still unlawful and unnecessary.
He said: "Carlos Ferreira and his friend Dean Price were actually robbing this young man of his produce and they probably got some of his drugs - a bag of cannabis.
"The defendant had his insurance policy and when the robbery took place he wanted to make sure they knew who ‘was bad then’.
"If you allow yourself to be robbed once you will be robbed again and again and you have to have a way to assert your authority."
The jury heard how Mr Ferreira, 24, a Portuguese man who has lived in the UK for nine years, met Mr Wilson on the day in question near Epsom station, where the teenager approached him in the street and asked whether he smoked "weed".
After taking Mr Wilson’s phone number, Mr Ferreira met with Mr Price, who he said wanted to buy some cannabis, and the pair arranged to meet with Mr Wilson in Rosebery Park.
Mr Ferreira said that, while there, Mr Price was speaking to Mr Wilson in an aggressive way, but was not actually being aggressive towards the drug dealer.
The victim said that by the time the men had reached Epsom High Street Mr Wilson "ran to start a fight with my friend".
He said: "I tried to stop it and I pushed Wilson. Then he came in front me and stabbed me.
"I felt something on my ribs. I felt something was wrong."
Mr Ferreira later said that Mr Price had "thrown some punches" towards Mr Wilson during the brawl.
The victim ran off across the road, towards Derby Square, followed by Mr Wilson.
With the help of an interpreter, he added: "If I had stayed there he would have stabbed me even more because he came after me for about five seconds."
In his cross-examination of Mr Ferreira, Mr Hepburn Scott accused Mr Ferreira of lying when he denied that he and Mr Price had robbed Mr Wilson of his drugs and that this is what triggered the fight.
He said that Mr Wilson had produced the drugs while the group was in Rosebery Park, which is when the men tried to snatch them. A fight then ensued in which Mr Price had the defendant in a headlock.
Mr Hepburn Scott said: "You were involved with Dean Price threatening the defendant because your plan with Dean Price was to be part of a robbery of a dealer."
He added: "Almost completely out of the blue the defendant starts punching Dean Price when he was trying to do a drug deal in the middle of Epsom town centre?
"I suggest you and Dean Price were following the defendant, threatening him and demanding weed from him."
But Mr Ferreira denied he robbed Mr Wilson of any drugs "because when that happened I was on license. I had been released from prison".
Mr Elliott read out the statement of 15-year-old Panagiotis Argyros who had met Mr Wilson for the first time on the day of the incident.
He said he was in the McDonald’s in Epsom High Street, before the attack happened, when Mr Wilson called him over to ask him if he smoked "weed".
The statement said: "He asked if I wanted weed. I sat next to him for 15 minutes.
"He said he was new to the area and he had been told lots of people took drugs in the area and wanted to sell some."
He accompanied the defendant from McDonald’s to Rosebery Park where they met Mr Ferreira and Mr Price. There, he said he heard Mr Price threatening Mr Wilson.
The statement said: "Dean Price said ‘you’ll get robbed. You better pass me the weed or I’m going to lay you down on your arse'."
The defendant, whose parents were sitting in court, was dressed in a denim shirt and pink checked sweater. He was clean-shaven and had his dreadlocks tied back.
Judge Noel Lucas QC started today’s proceedings by criticising GEOAmey, the private company employed by the Government to deliver prisoner escort and custody services across England and Wales, for bringing Mr Wilson to the court an hour late.
He said: "The Government has contracted out the job of bringing those who are in custody to court to a company called GEOAmey.
"They were an hour later in getting the defendant here this morning. This is why we have lost an hour of court time. It is, I must say, inexcusable."
The trial continues.