Oxford

Blackbird Leys murder trial: Accused 'was attacked'

Crime scene in Blackbird Leys Image copyright EPA
Image caption Christopher Lemonius was found with more than 80 injuries in an alley in Oxford, a jury was told

A man accused of being part of a gang that murdered a 27-year-old said they were attacked by masked men wielding machetes.

Christopher Lemonius died after being found in Jourdain Road, Blackbird Leys, Oxford, on 1 June last year.

Six men deny murder and four others deny perverting the course of justice.

Giving evidence at Oxford Crown Court, one of the defendants said on the evening Mr Lemonius died his friends were "chilled" and in good spirits.

Otman Lamzini, who denies murder, said the group were in a field drinking and celebrating the completion of a music project.

"Four men with their faces covered approached us with machetes and other weapons and they tried to attack us" he said.

Image caption The victim's hair, face and body were covered in blood, a police officer said

He said one of the masked men jumped off a bike and swung at Rashaun Stout, who is also accused of murder.

"They crept up on us. No-one was expecting anything," he added.

Mr Lamzini said he picked up a rounders bat and then later a golf club in an attempt to defend himself.

An eyewitness previously described seeing a man dragged into an alley by about 15 people after being beaten and kicked.

The witness also told the jury he saw a man with a machete with blood on it "from the top to halfway".

The trial continues.

Those charged with murder:

Yousef Koudoua, 27, of Balfour Road

Yasine Lamzini, 19, of Jourdain Road

Rashaun Stoute, 23, of Church Cowley Road

Connor Woodward, 24, of Haldene Road

Otman Lamzini, 24, of Jourdain Road

Carlos Spencer, 26, of Wynbush Road

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