Luke Jeffrey murder trial: Teenager killed 'over £20 drugs dispute'

A teenager stabbed and killed another teenager in Chichester in a dispute over drugs, a court has heard

Monday, 8th August 2016, 6:53 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 1:31 am
Luke Jeffrey died from a stab wound which pierced an artery and his right lung. Samuel Morgan denies murder

Samuel Morgan, 19, of Adelaide Road, Chichester, stands trial for the murder of Luke Jeffrey, 18, on the night of Friday, March 11.

Morgan denies murder as the trial began today, Monday, August 8, at Hove Crown Court.

Opening the case for the prosecution, Philip Bennetts QC said Mr Jeffrey had arranged to buy drugs from Morgan in an alleyway, close to where Mr Jeffrey was living at the Chichester Foyer.

Police searching the area where Luke Jeffrey was found. Picture by Eddie Mitchell

Mr Bennetts said: "Luke Jeffrey asked (friends) Mark Bullen and Andre Couto to accompany him and they did.

"Bradley Murphy was sent by the defendant (Morgan) to meet Luke Jeffrey in Lewis Road, at the junction of Alexandra Road."Luke Jeffrey paid Bradley Murphy £10, and it appeared from the account given (by Mr Bullen) that he should have paid him more, that he was £20 short."Bradley Murphy made a telephone call to Samuel Morgan and Samuel Morgan joined them.

"There was an argument and Bradley Murphy attacked Luke Jeffrey, he held him in a headlock and during the course of that attack, Samuel Morgan pulled out a knife and stabbed Luke Jeffrey. Mr Morgan then ran off."

Mr Bennetts said that when police and paramedics arrived in Alexandra Road shortly after 9pm, they found Mr Jeffrey with two stab wounds, one a relatively minor wound to the abdomen and a second to his upper chest on his right hand side.

The court heard how the second wound had pierced a main artery and Mr Jeffrey's right lung, proving fatal as he died at 0.55am at Southampton General Hospital the following morning.

The jury was shown a 1hr 30min video of a police interview with Mark Bullen, who described how he was with Mr Jeffrey when he died.

He said the pair had smoked cannabis earlier that day, and that Mr Jeffrey had drunk half a bottle of Martini and was acting like a 'bit of an idiot' as they went to collect the drugs, knocking over bins and speaking loudly.

Mr Bullen said after Mr Jeffrey and Mr Murphy had argued over money, Morgan was called and arrived from the top of the alleyway, and at first 'was not in any way angry'.

"Luke said that Sam owed him £20, Sam said no, you owe mt £20, they were just arguing for the sake of arguing, it seemed," Bullen said.

"I'm not sure if he walked down with the knife, or took it out, but when I saw it I froze, that's when I knew there was the potential for this to go wrong.

"I took a step back because I thought this is not worth getting stabbed over, it's £20."

He said Mr Jeffrey tried to walk off but was pursued by Mr Murphy, who grabbed him around the neck and the two began fighting, Mr Jeffrey punching Mr Murphy a number of times.

Mr Bullen said: "Sam did not get involved until three quarters of the way through (the fight), that''s when he did the cowardly act.

"There was no threat to Sam at any point, Luke was just defending himself."

He described how he saw Morgan punch Mr Jeffrey several times before he made a 'lunging movement', which left half of Mr Jeffrey's tank top 'blood red'.

He said as Morgan ran off, Mr Jeffrey initially pursued him and shouted 'I'm going to kill you', before he then collapsed in the street and became unconscious.

Mr Bullen said he phoned for an ambulance and tried to stem the heavy bleeding from Mr Jeffrey's right shoulder, helped by passers by, until paramedics arrived.

He described Mr Jeffrey as an 'outgoing', and 'good kid', who liked watching films and going to the gym.

Morgan denies murder. The trial continues.