St Mellons murder: Accused 'smoked cocaine' with victim

Anthony Winter Image copyright South Wales Police
Image caption Anthony Winter was father to a two-year-old girl

A man accused of murdering a drug addict has said he used to smoke crack cocaine with the victim.

John Jr Phillips, 28, told Cardiff Crown Court he regularly went to Anthony Winter's flat over three years.

Mr Winter, 32, was found beaten and stabbed in woods at St Mellons in Cardiff in November 2018.

The defendant, from Newport, along with a girl and boy - both 17 - all deny murder, while 19-year-old Christopher James Jones admits murder with a knife.

The prosecution has claimed Mr Winter was lured to a flat in Newport and "viciously assaulted and tortured" for several hours by a group before being stabbed after failing to access his bank account.

But during his defence, Mr Phillips said the victim was involved in a fight with the 17-year-old boy, but did not owe any drugs money, which has been claimed by the prosecution.

He then added Mr Winter went to clean himself up but came back still bleeding and making more mess.

Image caption Mr Winter's body was found near Brookfield Drive in St Mellons

"We started arguing," the defendant said.

"I shouted at him. I punched him to the face - I think his mouth and his nose - he fell backwards onto his back on the floor."

Mr Phillips told the jury the 17-year-old boy then stood over Mr Winter, repeatedly punching him to ribs. He said he told the others to leave and he would call a taxi.

The court previously heard Mr Winter was taken by taxi to St Mellons at about 06:15 GMT on 22 November and was stabbed in woods by Jones in his thigh, passing through an artery and "left to die."

Asked if there was any plan to injure or kill Mr Winters, Mr Phillips replied: "Not at all, everyone was going home," adding he had no knowledge of any phone calls to the victim's bank to try to get money transferred.

The trial continues.

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