Teenager guilty of friend's murder
PUBLISHED: 11:42 29 June 2006 | UPDATED: 10:23 06 May 2010
A TEENAGER was yesterday (Wednesday) convicted of the murder of a friend who he stabbed through the heart with a kitchen knife. Christopher Ball was being beaten in a fight by David Paine when he fetched the knife and delivered the fatal wound. David, 17,
A TEENAGER was yesterday (Wednesday) convicted of the murder of a friend who he stabbed through the heart with a kitchen knife.
Christopher Ball was being beaten in a fight by David Paine when he fetched the knife and delivered the fatal wound.
David, 17, had punched and head-butted Ball in a row, earlier that night, over the way the defendant treated his girlfriend, St Albans Crown Court was told.
They clashed again in the early hours of the morning at Ball's house in Broad Oak Way, Stevenage.
When David got the better of the fight, Ball went to the kitchen and took a knife which he then used to stab him.
David, who worked in a bike shop and was a freestyle mountain biker, was pronounced dead in hospital.
Ball, who was 17 at the time but is now 18, pleaded not guilty to murdering David, of Leaves Spring, Stevenage, last January 28.
Ann Evans, prosecuting, told the jury that on the night of the killing there had been a party at Ball's house for his two younger sisters. David Paine - who was a friend of both Christopher and his 17-year-old brother Michael - had been invited.
But the court heard that the relationship between David and Christopher Ball was "strained". They had fought on the previous Boxing Day.
After the fatal stabbing, Ball left the scene and was arrested three hours later at his girlfriend's home.
When he was told David had died he replied: "I didn't mean to do it - he is my mate."
Mrs Evans said Ball was in tears telling the police how sorry he was.
Ball said that night he had drunk half a bottle of vodka and smoked three joints of cannabis.
When questioned he said David had "gone mad" in the living room of his home and he was "scared for his life".
The jury convicted Ball of murder after considering their verdict for a day and a half. He was remanded in custody for reports by Judge Findlay Baker QC and is due to be sentenced in three weeks' time.
In a statement, David's family said: "He lived for bikes and worked full time at Marshall's bike shop in Roebuck, Stevenage. He worked six days a week and on Sundays we wouldn't see him because he would be off with his friends on his bike.
"David was a son to be proud of who wished to join the Army and was filling in his entry form but never got the chance to send it off.