A KNIFEMAN has told jurors he only meant to cause a “nick” to a father-of-two when he inflicted the fatal wound to his leg and did not intend to kill or really hurt him.
Jess Ryan has admitted he caused the knife injury which cost George Dagg 53, his life but denies he had his brother Jack with him as back up when he did it.
The 25-year-old told jurors he lashed out with the blade after Mr Dagg had told him it was “execution time” and threatened to bury him under the patio during a violent row.
He said: “I thought I was nicking him, just pinching him in the leg, to stop him doing what he was going to do.”
Jess Ryan, of Toronto Road, and his brother Jack Ryan, 21, of Toronto Square, Sunderland, are both being tried by a jury at Newcastle Crown Court on a charge of murder, which they both deny.
Jack Ryan denies he was at the scene of the killing and his sibling yesterday backed up that claim from the witness box.
Jess Ryan told jurors he had recruited another man, who he refused to name, to help him collect a jacket and mobile phone he had left at Mr Dagg’s house during an earlier row that night in June.
He said he had been warned Mr Dagg and his friends were “going to do me in properly” so had contacted a friend, who he refused to name, to help him try and “smooth things over”.
Ryan admitted he had asked his brother Jack to help retrieve his property but he refused, telling him not to be silly as it was the middle of the night.
Ryan. who was living with his grandparents at the time, told jurors: “I can’t say the person I was with, me and my family have received big threats from his family.
“The threats come because he has a very, very long prison licence and he said if he gets arrested for anything he will get recalled.
“I asked him to come and help me get my stuff from George’s and smooth things over so they didn’t end up turning up at my grandmother’s door.”
Ryan told jurors he and Mr Dagg had come to blows during a drinking session and he had forgot to collect his belongings when he was ordered out of the house.
He said his first attempt at going back was fruitless so he recruited the other man to go back with him and further trouble started.
Ryan said during the argument he had picked up a knife, which he had moved from Mr Dagg’s house into the garden earlier, because he wanted it out of harms way.
He said he saw something silver and shiny in Mr Dagg’s hand when he came to the door during the final confrontation.
Ryan said as the trouble moved into the street, Mr Dagg had warned him: “It’s execution time, you are going under the patio.”
Ryan said he feared “something bad was about to happen” when he lashed out with the knife but said he did not intend any real harm to Mr Dagg. .