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'He told me he had just opened someone up': Taxi driver claims murder accused confessed minutes after alleged stabbing

PUBLISHED: 16:12 16 January 2019

Police cordon off roads around Bentley Drive and Underwood Close in Lowestoft whilst investigations take place following a stabbing in the area.
Picture shows Bentley Drive.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2018

Police cordon off roads around Bentley Drive and Underwood Close in Lowestoft whilst investigations take place following a stabbing in the area. Picture shows Bentley Drive. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018

ARCHANT EASTERN DAILY PRESS (01603) 772434

A taxi driver claimed a man accused of murder confessed to "opening up" a Lowestoft father minutes after allegedly stabbing him eight times.

Scott Tarrant. Photo courtesy of Suffolk Constabulary.Scott Tarrant. Photo courtesy of Suffolk Constabulary.

Steven Butcher, 24, of Ashfield Crescent, Lowestoft, is accused of murdering 28-year-old Scott Tarrant after a fight in Underwood Close on July 7.

Appearing at Ipswich Crown Court on day three of the trial, taxi driver Jamie Hart told jurors he collected Butcher from nearby Hollingsworth Road at around 11.35pm that night.

He said: “I recognise faces and I knew he was nicknamed ‘Butch’, but I hadn’t seen him for a few years.

“He seemed very shakey and jittery so I asked if he was alright and he said he was. He started swearing at himself so I asked again.

“He told me he had just opened someone up, so I asked if he had anything on him and he told me he had put it down a drain.

“I asked if it was self-defence and he said he’d stabbed him eight times, so I told him he was looking at murder.

“I dropped him off on Dell Road East and he ran towards the Whitton.

“I don’t judge people by their cover so I thought he was another drunk person, but I saw the Lowestoft Journal reporting someone had died so I contacted police.”

Earlier in the day, jurors heard from husband and wife Joshua and Melissa Wilkes, who described the moments leading up to Mr Tarrant’s death.

Mr Wilkes, who called emergency services, said: “My wife and I went upstairs to bed about 11pm and about five minutes later I heard a loud crash so I looked out the window and saw a motorbike lying on the floor.

“I noticed there was a man on his hands and knees hiding behind the bushes.

“I thought it was suspicious because it isn’t something you normally see.”

Mr Wilkes told the court he saw another man come out of a house and stand the bike up, before looking around and going back inside.

Mrs Wilkes said: “I remember being surprised he hadn’t taken the bike back up the driveway because I assumed the other man had been trying to steal it and something had gone wrong.”

Mr Wilkes said: “The man in the bushes started wheeling the bike away and a man came out of the house wearing a motorbike helmet and they started fighting.

“They were swinging punches and the man in the helmet was kicking out.

“I went to get my phone to call the police and when I got back to the window the man who had been hiding was lying on the floor and the other man was standing over him.”

Earlier in the trial, the court heard a post-mortem found Mr Tarrant had been stabbed nine times and had bled to death.

Mr Wilkes said: “I thought at the time that the man in the helmet was holding a knife, because of the way he was holding it and it was much lighter than everything else. It looked silvery and the blade looked more than six inches long.

“I cannot be 100pc sure but I thought it was a knife at the time. The other man was on the floor motionless.

“I found it shocking.”

Mr Wilkes told the court the man left the scene after attempting to start the motorbike, and an older man was giving the man on the floor CPR.

Mr Tarrant was taken to hospital but later died.

It has been alleged that Butcher stabbed Mr Tarrant after they fell out over a woman.

Butcher denies murder.

The trial continues.

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