A murder trial witness has told a jury he did not know who stabbed him in a street brawl which ended with his brother’s death.

Lennon Pickering originally told police that murder accused Kieran Ibitson stabbed him outside his home on Meadowcroft Road, Normanby.

He said Ibitson pulled a knife out of a “manbag” and stabbed him in the back as he tried to protect his dad John Pickering, 45.

Ibitson has admitted stabbing John Pickering but denies stabbing his sons Lennon Pickering and Steven Willis, killing Steven with a wound to the heart.

Lennon Pickering, 17 at the time, was shown CCTV footage of the violence for the first time during cross-examination by defence barristers.

Incident happened on Skippers Lane in Normanby
Forensics officers on Meadowcroft Road after Steven Willis died (Image: Terry Blackburn)

‘I must have been confused’

Peter Doyle QC, representing Ibitson, asked him: “He didn’t pull a knife out of a manbag, did he?”

The witness replied: “No.”

Mr Doyle asked him: “He did not stab you by the wall, did he?”

Lennon answered: “No, I don’t think so.”

Asked why he told police he had, he said: “I must have been confused.”

When asked whether he changed his story because of viewing the CCTV, he said: “Seeing it gives me an insight into what actually happened.

“It was like a big brawl. I couldn’t really understand what was going on.

“Concussion on the night. I don’t know what’s true and what’s not.”

Flowers left for Steven Willis in Normanby (Image: Katie Lunn)

‘Can’t help’ over fatal stabbing

He denied deliberately lying to the police about being stabbed by Ibitson in the fighting following a wake on the night of April 16.

Prosecutor Richard Wright QC later asked: “Do you know who stabbed you?”

He replied: “No.”

Mr Doyle suggested Lennon was injured from being struck by a samurai sword brought out of the house by his half-brother Steven Willis.

He replied: “I don’t know.”

Sam Green QC, defending Lennon’s cousin Mark Pickering, said: “As to who fatally stabbed Steven, you can’t help the jury with that because you simply don’t know, do you?”

The witness answered no.

CCTV footage an ‘eye-opener’

He said he had a fistfight with another cousin, Dominic Pickering.

He was asked whether he still maintained he was “battered” on the ground by Dominic Pickering and Jahmal Weaver.

He replied “after seeing the video, no”, saying the footage was an “eye-opener”.

He agreed Weaver did not do anything to him or come into contact with him, and he did not see fifth accused Jack Cross doing anything.

Incident happened on Skippers Lane in Normanby
Police activity on the night Steven Willis died (Image: Terry Blackburn)

‘Like a Rambo knife’

Lennon’s friend Ben Savage also gave evidence, saying he had just visited Lennon when an old Ford Fiesta “flew down the street” and four lads jumped out.

He told police: “They all just started fighting, joining in and ganging up on each other.

“Something must have happened because they all knew what they were there for, like it was arranged.

“It’s just all a blur really.”

He said he saw Ibitson putting a knife “like a Rambo knife” into a manbag. He denied being mistaken about the bag.

‘I tried CPR’

He said Steven Willis came out of the house with a samurai sword and smashed the Fiesta’s window with it before he was taken to the floor and disarmed.

He added: “I can’t remember who stabbed Steven.

“It all happened too fast really.”

He said he ripped Steven’s shirt off and put him into a recovery position: “Then when I realised he wasn’t breathing I tried CPR.”

Steven Willis was ‘wobbling and shaking’

Jurors heard a statement from Lennon Pickering’s mother Claire Pickering.

She said she heard “heated talking” and her husband John saying “they’re coming, they’re coming here”.

She saw men getting out of the Fiesta then fighting. She ran back in and called police.

She said she was hysterical and screaming as Dominic Pickering shouted at her.

She recalled her husband coming in holding his side and putting a tea towel to a stab wound.

She added: “I recall Steven walking about but I didn’t know he had been stabbed.

“I thought he was drunk because he was walking about wobbling. Steven was shaking.”

Five Middlesbrough men – Ibitson, 21, of Beresford Crescent, Thorntree; Dominic Pickering, 23, of Grinkle Avenue, Park End; Mark Pickering, 32, of Greenham Close, Thorntree; Cross, 21, of Olney Walk, Park End; and Weaver, 22, of Rounton Green, Berwick Hills – deny Mr Willis’ murder and manslaughter. They also deny wounding with intent to cause serious harm.

Proceeding

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