Leeds taxi rank death accused tells jury: ‘I didn’t want to have a fight’

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A MAN accused of killing a fellow drug addict during a confrontation at a taxi rank told a court he threw punches as he feared he was about to come under attack.

Jamie Loftus told jurors he had spent ten minutes trying to get Terry Bailey to leave him alone during the incident outside Leeds railway station.

Loftus, of no fixed address, and Daniel Goodall, 42, are on trial at Leeds Crown Court accused of 39-year-old Mr Bailey’s manslaughter in the early hours of August 29 last year.

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The jury has heard how the three men knew each other and the violence took place after a dispute over drugs.

The court has been shown CCTV footage of Mr Bailey collapsing in the road after a confrontation between Goodall and Loftus.

Mr Bailey was pronounced dead at Leeds General Infirmary at 1.25am, around an hour after the incident

A post mortem revealed he had suffered bleeding to the brain after tearing an artery.

Loftus told the court Mr Bailey had been aggressive towards him the previous evening after the defendant had refused to buy him any drugs.

Loftus said he was intending to take a taxi with Goodall to the Beeston area of Leeds so they could buy more drugs when Mr Bailey became aggressive towards him.

He said: “You don’t have to be a scientist to know that somebody wants to have a fight with you.

“I didn’t want to have a fight. I didn’t want somebody to attack me.

“I knew that Mr Bailey’s intention was to hurt me.”

Loftus said he repeatedly told Mr Bailey to leave him alone before getting into the taxi with Goodall.

He said the two men then got out of the taxi after Mr Bailey had reached into the cab and threw punches.

Loftus said Goodall pushed Mr Bailey before there was a further confrontation.

He said: “I remember him (Mr Bailey) saying he wanted to hurt or kill me.”

Loftus said he could remember hitting Mr Bailey two or three times, including once to the right of his jaw.

Loftus’s barrister, Richard Wright, QC, asked: “Why did you hit him?”

He replied: “I wanted to go and take my drugs. It was my sole purpose. I had tried for ten minutes and nothing would get rid of him.

“No police showed up and it was outside the (British Transport Police) police station. I wish they would have done.”

Mr Wright then asked: “What would have happened if you had not hit him?”

Loftus said: “He wouldn’t leave us alone. It was inevitably going to lead to him attacking me.”

The trial continues.

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