Jury to retire in stabbing trial

First published in News

THE judge in the trial of a Trinant man who fatally stabbed his friend began his summing up yesterday.

Paul Mapps, who turned 27 this week, denies murdering Ian Davies, 27, in January this year.

Gwent Police were called to reports of an incident on Marshfield Road at around 7.30pm on Saturday January 11. Mr Davies suffered a fatal stab wound to his abdomen and was taken to the Royal Gwent Hospital where he later died the same night.

Mapps claims he acted in self-defence after Mr Davies came towards him with a bottle of vodka at a party at his house on Marshfield Road, where he the defendant claims he was not welcomed.

Judge Neil Bidder QC gave legal directions and summed up the evidence from both the defence and the prosecution at Cardiff Crown Court yesterday.

He told the jury, made up of six men and six women, that they will have three possible outcomes to chose from - guilty, not guilty, or manslaughter.

Members of the jury are likely to be sent out to reach their conclusion today (Fri).

Mr Bidder said the defence’s case is that Mapps was already holding a kitchen knife - which he claimed he was using to cut a corned beef pie - when Mr Davies allegedly charged at him wielding a vodka bottle.

On Wednesday, prosecution barrister Paul Lewis QC told the jury that some evidence given by Mapps was “fictional”, adding the defendant is a “devious liar”.

He has previously questioned whether Mapps was actually scared of Mr Davies, as the defendant claimed, despite him being a black belt in karate.

Mapps previously told the court Mr Davies had come into his house, uninvited, using a vodka bottle as a weapon before he stabbed him.

Summing up, Mr Bidder added the jury must deal with the question of self-defence in two stages. The first deals with the defendant’s state of mind at the time of the incident, and the second is the reasonableness of his actions if the jury believes Mapps’ claims that he felt under attack.

He added that the onus is on the prosecution to disprove any claims of self-defence, and that the jury should take this into consideration.

Peter Griffiths QC, defending, told the court on Wednesday that Mapps will have to “live with what he has done for the rest of his life”.

But he questioned the reliability of some of the prosecution’s witnesses, claiming some were “set against my client”.

Mapps had previously said he had been celebrating his sister Dawn Mapps’ 30th birthday on both January 10, and January 11, and was on a cocktail of ketamine, valium, cocaine, mephedrone and alcohol when he stabbed Mr Davies. Proceeding.

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