Boy, 16, accused of murder apologises to Josh Hall’s parents

The 16-year-old youth accused of murdering Joshua Hall, 16, in Cam in April has today apologised to the victim’s parents after he finished giving evidence in his own defence at Gloucester Crown Court.

Having spent two days in the witness box the youth, who has admitted stabbing his victim, turned to parents Kirsty and Michael Hall and apologised to them for his actions and added that if he could turn back time, he would.

Prosecutor James Dawes QC asked the youth, wearing a dark suit and blue shirt, if his mother knew that he he had been carrying a knife.

He replied: “My mother wouldn’t have liked me carrying a knife. But for me it was an everyday item, like a mobile phone.

“I took it to the sports ground, just as I would when I go out normally.

“If the knife is not in my bag, it’s in my waistband between my joggers and my underwear, with the handle poking out the top.

“I didn’t think of telling anybody that I had a knife. They might have known because the rumours had started spreading that I carried a knife.”

The prosecutor pointed out that the whole confrontation lasted for less than two minutes and he suggested that it was more like one minute and 15 seconds.

The defendant replied: “Yes, it was very quick.”

He was then asked if there had been enough time for a proper confrontation. To which the youth said: “Joshua didn’t say much at this time.

“The confrontation began when Joshua started pushing me before swinging the first punch. I was moving backwards and he followed me.”

Mr Dawes asked the defendant about the fight to which he stated he didn’t remember a lot about it.

He was asked if Joshua had tried to grab the knife off him. To which the youth replied he couldn’t recall.

“I think the (fatal) stab to the stomach would have been his last injury. It would have been quick.

“I do remember that moments later he told me that I had stabbed him and saw blood when he lifted his shirt.”

The prosecutor then accused the youth of stabbing Joshua to death to which the defendant said: “I didn’t stab him to death. The fight was over very quickly,” following which he broke down in tears and a break was taken.

Mr Dawes then asked if he was acting in self defence to which the youth said: “I was trying to warn him off with the knife. I didn’t mean to stab him.

“It was meant to be a deterrent, not to be used to stab him. I assumed he would take notice of the knife and this would scare him off.”

Mr Dawes asked if the defendant thought that the use of the knife was out of proportion to what was going on.

“I used the knife as a deterrent, but if I had purposely stabbed him it would have been out of proportion. I just wanted him to back off. I just wanted the fight to stop.

“I don’t feel sorry for myself. I feel sorry for Joshua’s family. It was an accident.”

The accused youth denies murdering Joshua Hall at Cam on Saturday, April 17, and the trial continues on Monday.

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