Michael Stead murder trial: Accused tells jury he 'helped' Sunderland dad

Michael Stead
Michael Stead

A man on trial for a violent murder has told jurors he "helped" the victim and did not kill him.

Daniel Mould is accused of taking part in a joint, armed attack on Michael Stead outside his home in Sunderland last March.

Mr Stead, 34, suffered severe injuries and was left in a persistent vegetative state until he died in hospital nine months later.

Prosecutors claim Mould's sister Leanne Mould had plotted the violence against Mr Stead, who was her long-term boyfriend, following a fall out over £30 and claims that he had been unfaithful.

It is claimed she had warned she would get Mr Stead "done in" on the day of the horror attack.

At Newcastle Crown Court jurors heard her brother has admitted being at the scene of the killing but denied planning or playing any part in it.

Daniel Mould has told the court he had considered Mr Stead to be a "friend" and said he had tried to pull the real killer away during the murderous violence.

Mould told the court he had been at home with his girlfriend on the night of the killing and had taken drink and drugs.

He said: "I got some cans and was sniffing cocaine, watching the telly."

Mould said he was disturbed by a banging on his door and heard his co-accused Michael Young, shouting outside for him to open up.

He told jurors Young had told him Mr Stead and a pal had caught "him and Leanne together" and that there was trouble.

He added: "He said they had got Leanne tied up."

Mould told jurors he rang his cousin Trevor Creighton and that they, with Young, went out to find out what was going on.

He added: "I was worried about my sister.

"It was just to see if my sister was safe, to see if it was true, if she was tied up, what was going on."

Mould said when he got to his sister's house she was not tied up and so he headed towards Mr Stead's home, which was in the same street.

He said a violent confrontation erupted in the street and added "I was in fear for my life".

Mould said Mr Stead, who was armed with a knife and machete "came for him" and added: "He was trying to swing at me, missing me by an inch.

"I said I had acid, as a bluff, I didn't have any, I said I had acid to try to get him away. He was having none of it."

Mould said it was in the middle of that confrontation that Michael Young punched Mr Stead to the ground unexpectedly.

He said: "When he was swinging the machete at me, Michael Young came from the side and punched him with great force and Michael Stead just dropped."

Mould said Young then used a nearby car to lean on with both hands, so he could stamp on Mr Stead with his feet.

He added: "I was trying to get Young, to drag him off."

Mould said it was only as they walked away, leaving Mr Stead on the ground, that he realised the seriousness of what had happened.

He told the court Young was carrying a knife sharpener in his hand and had told him 'I stabbed him with that in his eye'.

When asked by his barrister Peter Wilcock Qc if he had played any part in the deadly attack on Mr Stead, Mould replied: "No, nothing at all, I helped him."

And when asked if he had planned to cause any serious harm or kill Mr Stead that night, Mould said; "I would not have dragged Michael Young off him if that was the case."

Leanne Mould, 34, of Brady Street, her brother Daniel Mould, 26, of Chester Terrace North, and Trevor Creighton, 33, of Lumley Street, all Sunderland, all deny conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm with intent on Mr Stead.

Daniel Mould and Michael Young, 26, of Rutherglen Road, Sunderland, deny murder.

The trial continues.