A YOUNG man accused over a “terrifying” burglary where a man was stabbed gave his defence in court.

Jordan Bell denies a “grievous” attack as part of a gang of four balaclava-clad men in Shoreham.

The 20-year-old claims he was “scared” of an “Albanian” drug gang to whom he owed money, and was told some of his drug debts to them would be wiped-out if he joined the criminal enterprise.

He claimed that the drugs gang told him people living at Nicolson Drive owed the dealers money.

At Hove Crown Court, Bell was called to give evidence in his defence after the prosecution alleged Bell was one of the main men who kicked down a shed door and demanded money from Cerys Evans and Lewis Harrington inside.

The defendant said he had a debt worth more than £1,000 to the dealers, and said he had been groomed by them since the age of 13 or 14.

“I was a naive child, and wanted some money,” he said, and claimed a top gang member had bought him new clothes and trainers, and given him cannabis to smoke and sell.

He felt “too scared” to challenge the group, who had previously beaten him up.

Giving evidence he told the jury he feared for the safety of himself and his family if he had refused to join the raid.

David Evans rushed out when he heard the screams of his daughter Cerys from the adapted summer house in the garden.

During a struggle Mr Evans was stabbed by one of the men, while Ms Evans was punched in the head.

Bell said he was not involved in the stabbing or any violence, but accepted he was at the scene as part of a gang.

Blood from Mr Evans was found on his top, and Ms Evans’ boyfriend Mr Harrington identified him as one of the attackers for wearing a “distinctive” Gucci belt.

Gang members had allegedly said “let’s dip him” about Mr Harrington, slang for suggesting they should stab him.

Bell was asked how he felt when he saw a knife, and said he was “distraught”. He said he saw men “tussling” in the garden with Mr Evans during the raid in February last year.

He said: “All I wanted to do was to get out of the garden. They were just fighting. Then I found out the bloke had got stabbed. It’s horrible.”

Bell, formerly of Grafton Gardens, Sompting, denies inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent, aggravated burglary, and possession of an offensive weapon in public.

The trial will resume on Monday.