MURDER TRIAL DAY ONE: Court told 17-year-old from Daventry was stabbed in neck by his friend after ‘silly’ argument

Stanley Harrison
Stanley Harrison

A 17-year-old boy from Daventry was fatally stabbed by his childhood friend during a “silly” argument about a cigarette, a court was told.

Harnaryan Johal, aged 18, of Daventry, denies a charge of murdering Stanley Harrison, aged 17. The teenager died after he suffered a deep knife wound to his neck in the early hours of June 14.

Northampton Crown Court NNL-140423-093950001

Northampton Crown Court NNL-140423-093950001

Northampton Crown Court heard Johal, known as ‘Ryan’, had been friends with Stanley since primary school and regularly socialised with him.

Christopher Donnellan QC, prosecuting, said Johal had gone to meet Stanley, at the car repair shop in Daventry where he worked, on the Friday night.

Mr Donnellan said Johal arrived with a crate of 20 beers and a bottle of whisky and the pair then went to a party before going back to his house in Newbury Drive shortly after midnight.

The court heard the pair were joined by another friend, Rhys Hamad, and the trio continued to drink and watch television.

Mr Donnellan said that shortly before 3am the two friends got into an argument after Johal demanded that Stanley give him a cigarette.

He said the argument “escalated” from there and the pair then “squared up” to each other.

Mr Donnellan said Johal was then seen to go into the kitchen and take an eight-inch kitchen knife from a block.

The prosecutor said the pair then began fighting in the kitchen before it “spilled out” into the hallway.

Mr Donnellan told the court: “Rhys saw Ryan was trying to use a knife on Stanley’s face and he got in between them and the blade caught his hand.

“Ryan fell to the floor and Stanley punched down towards him. Rhys saw that Ryan still had the knife in his hand so he stood on his forearm until he dropped it and then kicked it away.”

The court heard that Rhys allegedly pushed Stanley towards the door and he was in the process of leaving when Johal launched at him again with the knife in his hand.

Mr Donnellan said: “There was no reason to intervene as Stanley was being ejected.

“It was a single fatal blow to the neck of Stanley and, due to the damage to a blood vessel, the wound immediately bled profusely.”

The court heard the door was closed and then opened again and Stanley collapsed into the hallway.

Mr Donnellan told the court Johal was alleged to have said: “I’ve just stabbed my best friend.”

Emergency services were immediately called to the scene while a neighbour tried to stem the flow of blood from Stanley’s wound. However, he died in hospital the next day due to the effects of severe blood loss.

The court was shown a self-shot video by Johal, filmed in his bedroom minutes after the stabbing, in which he said he had stabbed his best friend and ‘messed up’.

After being arrested and taken to a police station, Johal denied he had stabbed Stanley intentionally.

Opening the case for the prosecution, Mr Donnellan said both men were intoxicated and had traces of cocaine in their systems.

He said: “This was a silly, meaningless, bickering argument about nothing.

“Ryan did not need to take the knife to get his way in the situation. He did not need to reinforce his point with the knife.

“He clearly wanted to retaliate after being punched. His pride was hurt, he was angry and deliberately picked up the knife and went for Stanley.”

Johal denies a charge of murder.

The case continues.