A young father helped organise the fight at which he was killed, a court was told.

Darren Croxton informed his friend Carl Jordan that he was being challenged to a fight in woods at Hailsham last year.

When the two sides met, Mr Croxton was fatally stabbed in the leg.

The 25-year-old father-of-two, died in hospital on January 23 last year.

Stuart Johnson, 18, of no fixed address, and a 17-year-old youth, are on trial accused of his murder.

Mr Jordan told Lewes Crown Court yesterday (January 22) that the night before the fight he and his girlfriend’s son, Kai Smith, had been set upon in the street by three people he did not know.

He suffered a bruised and cut eye. The following morning he said he was called by Mr Croxton.

Alan Kent QC, defending Johnson, asked Mr Jordan: “He was telling you that somebody wanted to fight you?” Mr Jordan replied: “Yes.”

Street attack

Mr Jordan denied knowing that his attackers were youngsters and that one was the ex-boyfriend of Kai’s girlfriend.

Mr Jordan, who is in his 20s, said the street attack the previous night had made him feel “little”.

In his police interview, he explained his willingness to fight by saying: “I just wanted to feel big again.”

He turned up at woods behind The Diplocks industrial estate at 4.30pm that day, with Mr Croxton, Kai and two friends.

He told police: “The lad was there. I put my fists up to have a fight and literally in milliseconds Darren has flown past me saying something was wrong.”

Ambulance search

Mr Jordan said he followed him but was pulled into a ditch by one of the other group.

When he found his friends, Mr Croxton was missing. They found him injured in Bramble Drive, close to his home.

An ambulance was also searching for him.

Mr Croxton was taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton, where he died at 7.15am the next day.

The trial continues.

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