Page last updated at 14:25 GMT, Monday, 19 April 2010 15:25 UK

Man 'stabbed to death' after Rhuddlan snowball fight

Oliver Michael Taylor arriving at Mold Crown Court at an earlier hearing
Oliver Taylor armed himself with a kitchen knife, the court heard

A court has heard how a Denbighshire teenager stabbed a man to death after a snowball fight near his house.

Anthony Burke, 20, from Rhuddlan, had been drinking with friends and the group had a snowball fight at about 2230 on 23 December.

Mold Crown Court heard he was stabbed by neighbour Oliver Taylor, 19, who confronted the group after he emerged from his house in an aggressive mood.

Mr Taylor denies murder and the trial continues.

The jury was told Mr Burke had been celebrating a friend's birthday and after a party at his house, the group went into the street.

Andrew Thomas QC, prosecuting, said Mr Taylor emerged from his house to complain about the noise, and confronted Mr Burke.

We say the truth is the defendant deliberately used that knife against Mr Burke in circumstances which are nothing less than murder
Andrew Thomas, prosecuting

He said: "There were no blows exchanged.

"This was simply a standoff between two young men. When the defendant realised Mr Burke wasn't going to back down, he retreated into his own house.

"Anthony Burke and his friends then walked off. They were laughing and joking.

"Meanwhile the defendant went back in his house and fetched a kitchen knife.

"He came back out into the street followed by his girlfriend shouting 'don't do it'."

The court heard Mr Burke threw a beer bottle at Mr Taylor and tried to push him away, but was stabbed.

"It was a deliberate stabbing, there was no struggle or scuffle and Mr Burke immediately fell to the ground bleeding from his wound," added Mr Thomas.

Bottles and weapons

Mr Burke was taken to Glan Clwyd Hospital, but died in the early hours of Christmas Eve despite emergency surgery and blood transfusions.

The prosecution claim Mr Taylor hid the knife and spent the night at a friend's house before handing himself in to police the following morning.

The teenager claimed Mr Burke's group came to his house carrying bottles and weapons.

The court heard his girlfriend - Mr Burke's ex-partner - tried to hold the door shut as some of the men tried to push it open.

Mr Taylor claimed he picked up a kitchen knife to frighten them away. He returned outside and scuffled with Mr Burke, who also had a knife.

Mr Thomas told the court Mr Taylor had "vehemently denied" the past relationship between his girlfriend and Mr Burke had anything to do with his actions.

He accepted he killed Mr Burke but denied murder, suggesting the stabbing was either accidental or self-defence.

The prosecution said his story was "lies and exaggeration".

Mr Thomas added: "We say the truth is the defendant deliberately used that knife against Mr Burke in circumstances which are nothing less than murder."



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