Devon

Stephen Crook murder trial: Accused denies robbery plan

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

A man has denied being part of a plan to rob a drug dealer who was stabbed to death during a raid on his home.

Darren Twigger, 40, from Canley near Coventry, told Exeter Crown Court he had had "no intention of getting involved in a robbery or assault" and the plan had only been to buy drugs.

Mr Twigger is one of five people accused of attacking 43-year-old Stephen Crook at his home in Exeter in November 2013.

The men deny murder and robbery.

Mr Twigger said his only role had been to drive a group of friends to Devon to buy drugs in bulk to sell on for a profit in the Midlands.

Buying knives

He said he was temporarily unemployed and had agreed to drive the men in the hope of being paid for the favour.

The defendant said: "There was no mention of any robbery or burglary. I never had any intention of getting involved in any robbery or assault."

The court heard he was caught on CCTV buying knives shortly before the raid on Mr Crook's home in Alphington Road, but Mr Twigger claimed he did so at the request of the others because they wanted them for their protection.

The four men on trial alongside him are Bradley Richardson, 18, of Prior Deram Walk, Canley, Ryan Singleton, 26, of Howcotte Green, Canley; Anthony Martin, 22, of Gerard Avenue, Canley and Steven Webster, 40, of East Street, Okehampton, Devon.

Mr Twigger, of John Rous Avenue, is the fourth defendant to give evidence. Previously, Mr Richardson told the court he never went into Mr Crook's flat and Mr Singleton and Mr Martin both blamed others for the violence.

The defendants deny the charges and the trial continues.

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