Boxing fan accused of murder ‘acted in self-defence while under attack’
Tyrone Andrew’s lawyer told a jury at Birmingham Crown Court that his client used ‘reasonable and necessary’ force.
A boxing fan accused of murdering a rival supporter was the victim of an apparently racist attack and could have died if he been caught by a “white male” horde, his barrister has claimed.
Jurors were urged to judge the case against Tyrone Andrew in a dispassionate way – primarily by viewing footage of the fatal stabbing of Reagan Asbury captured on four CCTV cameras.
Prosecutors allege that Andrew stabbed Mr Asbury after tracking him “like an animal stalking its prey” during violent clashes following a youth world title fight.
Andrew, who denies murder, is alleged to have forcefully stabbed the 19-year-old victim in the neck last October after trouble erupted at the end of the bout at Walsall Town Hall.
A four-week trial Birmingham Crown Court has heard that Andrew, 21, of St Helens Street, Derby, was with a number of supporters backing Myron Mills in an IBF lightweight bout against Walsall fighter Luke Paddock.
In his closing speech to the jury, defence QC James Wood told the panel: “Our submission to you is clear – Reagan was not murdered, he was not unlawfully killed.”
Alleging that the Walsall group behaved in a brutal and dangerous manner, Mr Wood invited the jury to consider what would have happened if Andrew, who is mixed race, had been caught while being “driven out of town” by a “horde” of white men.
Mr Woods added: “We suggest, from what went before, he would likely be dead.
“And above all – with his heritage – what would he believe is likely to happen?”
Claiming Andrew – who had suffered a defensive wound to his hand – believed some of the men to be armed with a knife, Mr Wood added: “The defendant had been stabbed and he was right to fear for his life.
“It’s easy for us to second-guess it now but what he did in the heat of that moment was lawful and, we invite you to find, was in reasonable self-defence.
“What was done by Tyrone was done in grave fear – a justified fear for his life.”
During the Crown’s closing speech to the jury, prosecutor Michael Burrows QC submitted that Mr Asbury presented no real or imminent threat to anyone when he was stabbed.
Mr Burrows said of Andrew: “He stabbed him in the neck deliberately with great force with murderous intent. This was a callous and calculated murder, which you have seen with your own eyes from the shocking CCTV.
“The prosecution say the proper verdict in this case is one of guilty of murder.”
The jury is expected to retire later this week.
Two other men are also facing trial charged with assisting an offender, while a fourth defendant denies violent disorder.