Devon

Exeter drug dealer 'dragged by killers through home'

Murder scene in Alphington Road, Exeter
Image caption Stephen Crook was found stabbed at his home in Alphington Road

A drug dealer was stabbed 10 times and dragged by his killers through his home during a raid, a jury has heard.

The group left a trail of bloody footprints during the raid at Stephen Crook's home in Exeter, the city's crown court was told.

Mr Crook, 43, was stabbed or slashed 10 times during the attacked last November.

Five men, one from Okehampton in Devon and the rest from Coventry, deny murder and robbery.

They are Steven Webster, 40, of East Street, Okehampton; Ryan Singleton, 26, of Howcotte Green, Canley, Coventry; Darren Twigger, 40, of John Rous Avenue, Canley; a teenager from Prior Deram Walk, Canley and Anthony Martin, 22, of Gerard Avenue, Canley.

'Potential target'

Photographs showing blood splashed up the walls of Mr Crook's hallway and pooled on the floor were shown to the jury.

Forensic expert Mr Padraig O'Shea told the court however, only Mr Singleton's shoes could be linked positively to the scene because of a distinctive zig-zag pattern on the sole.

He said: "There were footprints in the back yard consistent with [Mr] Singleton's shoes, with the right shoe heading towards the gate."

The prosecution claim former neighbour Mr Webster identified Mr Crook as a potential target for a robbery by four men who had come to Devon to buy and take drugs.

Mr Crook was attacked in his home in Alphington Road, Exeter, while his partner was out buying a Chinese take away.

She returned to find him dying from loss of blood.

The trial continues.

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