Colchester stabbing: Teen 'drug runner murdered homeless man'

Police at Castle Park
Image caption Carl Hopkins's body was found in Ryegate Road, near Castle Park

A teenage drug runner murdered a homeless man and seriously wounded another during an attempted robbery, a court has heard.

The body of Carl Hopkins, who had been stabbed, was found by a dog walker slumped against a wall on 10 February.

The defendant was "out selling Class A drugs on the streets of Colchester" for a gang called DnT, jurors were told.

The 17-year-old, from Woolwich, south-east London, denies murder and wounding with intent.

Opening the case, prosecutor Tracy Ayling QC said: "Knowing and anticipating the dangerous and murky world of drug supply, he was armed with a knife and ready to use it should someone try and relieve him of those drugs."

The court heard that Mr Hopkins, 49, and John Birch were part of a group of homeless people planning to steal drugs from the defendant in an alleyway notorious for drug dealing, near Castle Park in Colchester.

Jurors were told there was a confrontation between the men, during which Mr Birch claims he said: "What's this about you selling drugs to underage kids?"

Blood trail

The prosecution says that the defendant - who cannot be named for legal reasons - "without saying a word, stabbed John Birch multiple times" and that Mr Birch, who had a piece of broken bottle in his pocket, fought back.

Mr Birch made it to a local snooker club and was later treated for the four stab wounds he received to his upper body.

The following morning the body of Mr Hopkins was discovered.

Ms Ayling said: "A trail of blood led up the road to the alleyway. From that alleyway another blood trail was discovered. That was from the defendant."

The teenager later told police: "I was acting in self-defence at all times and I myself was the victim of an attempted robbery."

The trial continues.

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