TWO brothers set upon a drug dealer like a “pack of wolves” before stabbing him to death on a driveway, the opening of a murder trial was told.
Sidney and Charlie Cooper launched a “frenzied” attack on Courtney Jones, during which a carving knife was plunged into the victim at least twice, Winchester Crown Court heard.
“It was quite clearly a joint attack,” prosecutor Adam Feest said. “The brothers had him in a headlock, punched him a number of times, and kicked and stamped on him; at one point they even hit him with a brick.
“During this frenzied attack someone produced a knife and Sidney Cooper was able to use it to stab Mr Jones at least twice.”
The pair seized a bag Mr Jones had been carrying and “threw it down” on the motionless victim as he lay bleeding to death, Mr Feest said.
Sidney (26) then told Mr Jones “I told you not to f*** around with us,” before he and his co-defendant fled the scene with Charlie’s girlfriend, Beau Mason, the prosecutor added.
The court was told the incident happened outside Bethany Fee’s Salisbury Road home at 7.45pm on 25th August last year. Mr Feest summed up the attack as “aggressive, violent and vicious”.
Neighbours went to the aid of Mr Jones, who suffered two puncture wounds to his upper torso. Despite a neighbour – who was a nurse – giving him CPR and medics getting quickly to the scene, the blood loss was so severe he died at Southampton General Hospital within an hour of the stabbing.
The bag carried by Mr Jones – who was known as “Tim” or “Timmy” – was said to have contained drug paraphernalia and may have had substances in it.
Mr Feest explained Mr Jones had spent the afternoon of the day in question at his partner’s house nearby before going to Ms Fee’s home sometime after 6pm.
The Coopers, meanwhile, who were with Ms Mason, visited Stephen Lucas – who lived in a one-bedroom flat neighbouring Ms Fee’s property.
After leaving there, the defendants were said to have then attempted to get into Ms Fee’s home. She refused them entry, said Mr Feest, so the pair climbed over a fence and tried to get in through the back door, but were again denied access.
Shortly afterwards, Mr Jones went outside, and it was then that the fatal incident was said to have occurred.
The prosecutor held up the murder weapon to show the jury, and he also played the harrowing 999 call made by a hysterical Ms Fee.
Mr Feest said Ms Fee, Ms Mason and Mr Lucas will all give evidence for the prosecution. Another witness, Hayley Smith, will say she saw Charlie had a knife on him when she drove him to Mr Lucas’ house, he said.
Ms Fee, the prosecutor added, witnessed the brothers launch the attack and was adamant Sidney stabbed Mr Jones “more than once to his side”.
He went on: “Stephen Lucas gave the description that the defendants were like a pack of wolves in the way they went for Mr Jones.”
The court heard that after the fatal assault, Charlie grabbed Ms Mason, shoving her away from the scene and rowing with her. She was allegedly heard telling him: “We are done now after you have gone and done that.”
Neighbours who were alerted by Ms Fee’s screaming saw the Coopers leaving the scene, Mr Feest said. Another witness, Jeremy Hales, claimed Sidney told him: “I had to do him. He was selling drugs to my 14-year-old daughter.”
Hampshire Police officers soon tracked Sidney down to the Testwood Lakes travellers site, where they found him hiding in undergrowth having thrown away his jacket, Mr Feest said. It was established he had hidden cocaine in his rectum and some of the class A drug was found in the pocket of his discarded clothing.
Sidney was taken to hospital soon after having suffered a seizure, and remained there for five days. On his discharge he was arrested.
Charlie (19), was apprehended the day after the incident when officers found him hiding under blankets at his home in Ashby Close, Totton.
Mr Feest said the brothers gave no comment interviews to police but submitted prepared statements.
Sidney, of no fixed abode, said Mr Jones had been the aggressor and was carrying the knife. He added that he knew Mr Jones was a drug dealer and he had acted in self-defence.
Mr Feest said it is understood he will say at trial he used the knife only to protect himself.
Charlie, the prosecutor continued, also claimed self-defence and maintained he used reasonable force throughout the incident.
The trial continues.