A TEENAGER accused of the killing of football fan Robert Burgess in the garden of a Coventry house says he was acting in self-defence during the incident.
The 17-year-old from Coventry, who cannot be named because of his age, pleaded not guilty at Warwick Crown Court to the murder of 37-year-old Mr Burgess in October last year.
The charge follows an incident in the garden of a house in Armfield Street, Bell Green, Coventry, at shortly after 9pm on Thursday October 3 which led to an ambulance being called.
Mr Burgess, a keen Coventry City supporter, had been stabbed to the chest, and despite the efforts of paramedics he was declared dead at the scene.
Prosecutor Peter Grieves-Smith said the teenager’s trial had been fixed to begin on March 23, adding: “The time estimate is that it will go into a second week, but it will comfortably finish within ten days.”
Judge Sylvia de Bertodano ordered that a statement setting out the defence case should be served by February 20, but commented: “There will be no surprises in it. The defence is going to be self-defence.”
And Hossein Zahir QC, defending, confirmed: “It will be.”
Judge de Bertodano adjourned the case for a further directions hearing to take place on March 2, but said that the 17-year-old, who is on remand in Wetherby, need not attend.
When she asked why he was there, she was told it was the most suitable establishment for him, but that he would be moved closer for the trial.
Adjourning the case, she told the teenager: “We are making arrangements for your trial, which will take place at the end of March. You can stay at Wetherby until you are brought nearer for your trial.”