Michael Warham murder trial: Knife with 20cm blade found in garden of Shrewsbury house after stabbing

Police found a knife with a 20cm blade in the garden of a house where the man accused of fatally stabbing a 16-year-old in Shrewsbury took refuge.

Scene of the stabbing on Wayford Close
Scene of the stabbing on Wayford Close

The fourth day of the trial of Declan Graves, who denies the murder of Michael Warham in Shrewsbury on August 4 last year, was told how the knife, a Viners kitchen knife, was discovered outside the home of William and Louise Simmons.

Graves had knocked on the door of their Stapleton Road home, near to Wayford Close where Mr Warham was stabbed, sometime after 9pm on August 1, with Mr Simmons saying he answered the door to "a young lad in a desperate state of panic."

He added: "He said "can I come in" and he pushed himself in. He was terrified."

Giving evidence to the jury at Stafford Crown Court Mr Simmons said Graves, of Dymchurch Road, Liverpool, had asked for an inhaler and told them he had been "attacked by a gang of lads over a girl".

He was described as being in an agitated state, and appeared "scared".

The court heard from both Mr and Mrs Simmons that Graves had been wearing tracksuit bottoms that had mud and grass up to his hip on one side.

When asked by prosecutor Rachel Bland whether it looked like he had been "scrambling around", Mr Simmons agreed.

The couple decided to take Graves to hospital for treatment on a "very serious" looking injury to his head, but the 19-year-old instead asked them to take him to McDonald's on the Meole Brace retail park.

When they arrived there three of his friends approached the car, with two getting in and another being left behind as they went to Royal Shrewsbury Hospital where they were dropped off.

The court also heard evidence from a 14 year old girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, that Graves had been seen in a serious conversation with another 18-year-old man outside McDonald's, and was "looking quite distressed to be honest".

Mr Simmons said Graves' demeanour "suddenly changed" when they had arrived at McDonald's.

He said: "He went from being quite nervous and reclusive to quite confident when he saw his friends."

When Mrs and Mrs Simmons returned home they called the police to report what had happened, with Mrs Simmons putting a glass Graves had drunk from and the inhaler he had used into a plastic bag to preserve evidence.

The court also heard from West Mercia Police scenes of crime officer, Christopher Speake, who told how he had discovered the knife the day after Mr Warham's stabbing when he went to take fingerprints from the Simmons' front door.

The trial had previously heard how two gangs of young men were involved in a running battle with wooden poles, pieces of scaffolding, and knives.

Mr Warham, who was from the Bootle area of Merseyside, was left with stab wounds to his chest and abdomen following the fight and died at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital on August 4.

The trial continues.

Read Dominic Robertson's updates from Stafford Crown Court:

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