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Killers' joy seen on CCTV after Brighton stabbing
Two killers high-fived and hugged before going for a celebratory drink just minutes after stabbing a grieving widower, a court heard.
With paramedics desperately trying to save Jeffery Burrows following the attack in his Brighton flat, the pair were seen joking and re-enacting the killing in a bar less than 100 metres away.
A Lewes Crown Court jury heard the Norfolk Square attack was so brutal that a cleaner downstairs mistook it for an earthquake.
Joel Elliott, 22, of North Road, Brighton, and Adam White, 22, of Bedford Place, Liverpool, both deny murder.
Adrian Chaplin, prosecuting, told how Mr Burrows moved to Brighton in 1997 and made a living as a builder.
He married his terminally ill girlfriend, Brione, earlier this year but she died the following day.
The jury heard that Mr Burrows had been using drugs in the lead up to his death on April 29 – and that White had been his dealer.
Mr Chaplin added that a disagreement between the two about a scooter had escalated with events coming to a head that Sunday evening.
White is claimed to have told people that afternoon that he would “sort Mr Burrows” and would “take his jaw off”.
At 5pm that evening, the jury heard, he sent a text to Mr Burrows which read: “It’s got to the point where you need to watch your back. I tried to be sound. I’m no mug.”
Mr Burrows replied: “OK, come and sort it, one on one.” White responded: “I’ll be round.”
The prosecution claims that White grabbed a knife from Elliott’s girlfriend’s house in Coldean and the pair travelled together to the victim’s flat shortly after 7pm.
It’s claimed they smashed through the door before beating and “overpowering” Mr Burrows and pinning him to the floor with a kitchen chair.
With the victim unable to defend himself, neighbour Marc Davis described hearing his desperate pleas for mercy.
“No, no, get off, get off, stop, stop, stop,” he is claimed to have said before letting out a cry of pain.
The prosecution alleges White plunged the blade so hard into the victim’s stomach that it tore through the abdominal aorta and damaged his back bone.
Juan Caseres-Perez, who was working as a cleaner downstairs, described hearing the struggle through his headphones.
In a statement read to the jury, he told how dust fell from the shaking ceiling and having mistaken it for an earthquake, he fled the building.
White and Elliott were seen running past the nearby Robin Hood pub high-fiving each other just seconds later.
They were then picked up on CCTV on Western Road casually walking into Caps Bar – just 100 metres from the stabbing.
The jury was shown footage of the two joking and hugging as well as acting out stabbing and punching motions – all while paramedics were desperately trying to save the victim.
After finishing their drinks, they left the bar before catching the 49 bus to the Clock Tower where they walked to Yates Bar on West Street.
The jury were shown further CCTV footage in which they again acted out the attack, played on the fruit machine and relaxed with their feet up on a table.
They are then seen going to the smoking area where White is spotted disposing of his jacket in the bins.
The trial continues.
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