Hitchin teen accused of murder claims he acted in self defence

A TEENAGER stabbed a partially blind man to death, before dumping the knife and fleeing, a court heard.

Jordan Kelly-Flattery, 19, of West Close, Hitchin, is accused of the murder of 36-year-old Graham Snowden in Milestone Road, Hitchin, in the early hours of January 8.

Croydon Crown Court was told yesterday (Monday) that the defendant, known as ‘Faze’, stabbed Mr Snowden after an argument broke out at a property in that road.

The court heard that Mr Snowden had very poor eyesight, walked with a cane and according to a consultant neurologist suffered from delayed reactions, which would have been exacerbated by alcohol, after a serious car crash six years ago.

On January 7, he went on an all-day drinking binge with a friend, Shane Howard, and after leaving the Venue, in Bancroft Road, the friend took Mr Snowden to a nearby house to continue partying, after exchanging texts with the defendant.

They arrived at the house, owned by Lisa Harris, just after 1am and inside were Kelly-Flattery and a friend of his nicknamed ‘Screech’.

All five were in the living room, but prosecutor Ann Evans said trouble started when Mr Snowden tried to get up.

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She continued: “The defendant pushed Mr Snowden back down on the sofa and he took offence at this and an argument erupted between the two men.”

Mr Snowden and his friend were then asked to leave, but the confrontation was said to have continued, she added.

Mrs Evans told the jury: “Mr Howard walked out of the house, but as he did so, he heard arguing again and turned around to see Mr Snowden with his back to the stairs and the defendant punching him to his body.

“As he rushed back in to help him blood was pouring from Mr Snowden and Lisa Harris saw the defendant with a knife and heard him say ‘Screech. I’ve stabbed him’.”

Kelly-Flattery fled via the living-room window and an ambulance was called, but Mr Snowden was pronounced dead on arrival at Lister Hospital, jurors were told.

They also heard that the defendant sought help from a friend, whose parents run the Long Arm and Short Arm pub in Lemsford, and from there he took a mini-cab to Welwyn Garden City and was quizzed by passing police as he stood outside a Total petrol station in Stanborough.

“The police officers described the person they stopped as calm, sober and chatty,” explained Mrs Evans.

Kelly-Flattery returned to the pub, borrowed clothing from his friend, Ashley Cabrita, and with his help hid his own clothes on the edge of Brocket Hall Golf Course, the court heard.

The defendant confessed to Mr Cabrita where he dumped the knife and police later recovered it - stained in Mr Snowden’s blood - from a wheelie bin in the front garden of a house in Westmill Road.

Following a police appeal, Kelly-Flattery gave himself up to police on January 10 and refused to answer questions.

Flattery-Kelly claims the knife that killed Mr Snowden, known to friends as Snowy, dropped out of Mr Snowden’s own pocket.

But Mrs Evans said in court: “This story put forward by Mr Kelly-Flattery is far from the truth. The reality is that he had this knife conveniently to hand so when he lost his temper his instinctive reaction was to grab for the knife he was carrying and stab Mr Snowden, who did not have a chance to defend himself.”

Kelly-Flattery admitted the stabbing in court, but denies murder, claiming he was acting in self defence.

The trial, expected to last two weeks, continues.