Reece Radford murder trial: Victim fatally stabbed "trying to protect" 17-year-old girl

A YOUNG man who wanted to protect a girl who was being attacked was fatally stabbed in the heat during the fight, a court heard.

A YOUNG man who was trying to protect a girl who was being attacked was fatally stabbed in the heat of the fight, a court heard.

Reece Radford (26, pictured) died on October 4 last year — five days after the confrontation in Sheffield city centre.

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Two men — Dereck Owusu (39), of Strathmore Grove, Wath, and Louis James (47), of Manor Lane, Sheffield — went on trial today at Sheffield Crown Court over the killing.

Mr David Temkin, prosecuting, said the incident had started when Mr Radford had seen a girl being punched in the face by one of the defendants.

He said: “These two defendants were out in Sheffield, drinking alcohol.

“In the early hours of September 29, a 17-year-old girl encountered these defendants.

“She knew the defendants.

She knew Owusu as ‘D’ and James by his first name, Louis.

“She was standing at the bus stop.

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“These two defendants came over to her as she was standing there.

“She was also out — she was drunk.

“The defendants had whiskey on them.

“The three of them were talking and drinking for some time but at some point, violence broke out.

"The girl punched one of the defendants in the face and Owusu punched her with such force she fell to the ground.

“That was seen by another member of the public, Reece Radford.

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“Mr Radford went to the defendants and her in order to protect the young girl.

“He intervened and punched Owusu in the face.

“As a result of that, both of the defendants and Mr Radford started fighting.”

Mr Temkin added the fight had moved onto the road where Mr Radford had fallen to the ground and both defendants had started kicking him.

He said: “It was two against one. Witnesses saw punches being thrown.”

Mr Temkin said the fight had not lasted long.

“It seemed to stop suddenly,” he said.

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“Mr Radford crossed the road at this point and fell to the ground and it was obvious he was badly injured.”

The two defendants had walked away but returned shortly afterwards, Mr Temkin said.

He said: “Mr Radford was still on the ground — he was not a threat - but Owusu took the belt from his trousers and witnesses described that as he came to the group, he started whipping it in the air.”

Emergency services arrived quickly on the scene and took Mr Radford to hospital, the court heard.

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Mr Temkin said: “One of the police officers described Mr Radford's having ‘ashen grey’ face.”

A surgeon had confirmed that Mr Radford had been stabbed in the heart.

He had undergone surgery but suffered brain damage, the prosecutor added.

Mr Temkin said: “He did not survive and was pronounced dead at 14.51 on October 4.”

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The two defendants had quickly been apprehended, the court heard, and police had found a wallet — Mr Radford’s wallet — and “a broken beer bottle” on Owusu.

When questioned, James told the police that the group that included Mr Radford had asked him and Owusu for drugs but he said they did not do drugs.

Mr Temkin said: “Mr Radford went to the shop with the group and he (James) could hear Radford asking the girl if she was ‘shagging these African b******s’.”

The prosecutor said James had told the police Mr Radford had run and punched Owusu and punched him [James] very hard in the left side of his head.

“James said he had to defend himself,” he said.

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“He [James] thought Mr Radford was going to take a knife from his bag.

“He and Mr Radford started fighting.

“He said he did not stab him. He did not see Mr Radford being stabbed.

“He did not understand how he (Mr Radford) was stabbed.”

After the knife — which had been dropped in the drain under a bridge on Shude Hill in Sheffield — had been recovered, Mr Temkin said, James had accepted that he had been in possession of a knife that night.

He said: “James believes that he took out his knife in self-defence but he has no memory of using his knife.

“He simply cannot say how Mr Radford was stabbed.”

The trial continues.