Murder accused boy tells Leeds court in Alfie Lewis trial: 'I thought he was going to hurt me that day'

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A boy accused of murdering 15-year-old Alfie Lewis outside a primary school in Leeds told a court: “I thought he was going to hurt me that day.”

The youngster, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has been giving evidence at Leeds Crown Court on day six of his trial. He admits killing Alfie on the afternoon of November 7 last year, near to the junction of Church Lane and Church Road in Horsforth, but says he was in fear for his own safety.

The court had heard that Alfie and the boy had previous confrontations, including a fight with another boy in which Alfie had got involved in, and an incident a week before his death involving fireworks.

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Questioned by defence barrister Nicholas Lumley KC, the 15-year-old boy said that he agreed he caused Alfie’s death, said he was “sorry” and did not mean to kill him. Asked why he stabbed Alfie he said: “I thought Alfie was going to hurt me that day.”

He said his plan was to “get home as quickly as he could” that day, but saw Alfie walking towards him and he “froze”. The boy told the court: “I took the knife out to scare him. He was speed walking towards me. I knew he was going to try an attack me.”

The boy said Alfie looked at him and said: “What are you going to do with that?” The boy said he did not reply and said Alfie then lunged at him to grab his coat, but did not make contact. The boy said he then stepped back and swung the knife “in a downward motion”.

He said he was “aimlessly” swinging the knife, and did it to “keep him away”. He said he did not know that he had seriously injured him. He claimed Alfie started trying to kick the knife. He said with Alfie falling to the floor, the boy ran off and kept on checking to make sure Alfie was not following him. He also dropped the knife which was later recovered.

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He told the court: “I was scared, I was just trying to get away as fast as I could.” Asked by Mr Lumley why he didn’t run as soon as he had seen Alfie, he said he was simply too close. He added: “I did not think I had any other choice but to pull out the knife. Everything happened so quickly. I was just trying to protect my own life.”

Having been arrested around half an hour later, he said he was told by a duty solicitor to make no comments during his police interview, but admitted he was both shocked and scared.

Alfie Lewis died after being stabbed outside a school. (pics by SWNS)Alfie Lewis died after being stabbed outside a school. (pics by SWNS)
Alfie Lewis died after being stabbed outside a school. (pics by SWNS) | SWNS

The boy said he had first met Alfie in a KFC when he was about 10 or 11 and there had been “no problem” between them. But by the time they got to year eight at school he said Alfie had “started to build a reputation for himself” and was “violent a lot of the time”.

Phone-camera footage of a street fight between the boy and one of Alfie’s friends months before the fatal stabbing was played to the court, which showed Alfie then getting involved and attempting to stamp on the boy, along with others.

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He said he would see Alfie “two or three times a week” and claimed Alfie would give him “dirty looks” or “say something under his breath”. Then on Halloween last year - a week before the fatal stabbing - they clashed again when the boy claimed Alfie demanded the boy hand over his bag, which contained fireworks.

He said he thought Alfie was holding what he “thought was a weapon”, so the boy began running, pursued by Alfie, but was able to get away.

A week later, on the day of Alfie’s death, he told the court that he was “too scared to leave the house and didn't know what to do”, so went to the kitchen drawer and took the knife before school, putting it in the waistband of his trousers. He said: “I thought it would be the least effective knife. I just wanted to scare him away, not inflict any harm.” He said he carried the knife around all day but did not tell anyone that he had it, and was too scared to tell teachers about his perceived threat of Alfie for fear of repercussions.

The trial continues.

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