A 24-year-old man standing trial for the murder of another man who died 18 months after being attacked in Telford today told a jury: ‘I don’t think he died through our actions’.
Jason Noto admitted to hitting Ismaaeel Rehman four times with a converted washing line prop and told Stafford Crown Court he saw Robert Jones hit him with a baseball bat.
But he insisted 24-year-old Mr Rehman, from Dudley, did not seem seriously hurt and was able to walk away unaided from the flats in Powis Place, Dawley Bank.
The victim was rushed to intensive care after later being found lying near the scene after the assault in the early hours of July 17, 2009.
He died on New Year’s Day last year after suffering an epileptic seizure at his father’s home.
Neurosurgeons had earlier told the jury they believed the condition had been brought on as a result of brain and head injuries suffered in the attack.
Noto, who admitted under oath to selling cannabis at the time of the incident, told the jury he grabbed a stick after Mr Rehman turned up at his door carrying a chair leg and tried to get inside.
“I yanked my stick back off him and I swung it at him. I hit him on the right side of his head and he fell down on the floor.”
Noto said he then chased two other men off and came back to see Jones hitting Mr Rehman with a baseball bat.
He told the jury he hit Mr Rehman another three times to the arm and back but claimed it was in self defence.
“He kept trying to get back up even though I was telling him not to.”
Mr Stephen Linehan QC, for Noto, asked him: “Did you intend to cause him (Mr Rehman) serious injury?”
Noto replied: “No.”
Mr Linehan added: “Did you know he had been caused a serious injury?”
“He didn’t look seriously hurt when he left us,” Noto replied.
He admitted lying to police by claiming nothing had happened at the flat. But he told the court: “I was scared and I didn’t think he died through our actions.”
Noto, 24, of Powis Place, and Jones, 24, of Webb Crescent, Dawley, both deny murder. The trial continues.