Boy accused of murder told friend to ‘get the shank’

A teenager accused of stabbing a 17-year-old boy to death at a party told a friend to “get the shank” earlier in the evening, a court has heard.

The defendant, who was 16 at the time of the incident on 23 July 2023, and his friend both seemed "shaken up" and "angry and nervous", a female witness told the hearing at Brighton Crown Court.

The accused, who cannot be named for legal reasons due to his age, denies murdering Charlie Cosser on a crowded dance floor at an event in Warnham, West Sussex, and having a bladed article.

The prosecution claims Charlie, 17, from Milford, Surrey, was fatally stabbed when a fight broke out after the defendant and his friends were asked to leave the party.

The witness, who can not be named, said she heard the defendant tell his friend to "get the shank", which the court has previously heard is a reference to a knife.

The woman said she saw the defendant “talking about a knife” with a friend, after a third boy arrived at the party and made them agitated.

She said the defendant and his friend “both seemed very shaken up almost - they both seemed angry and nervous.

Punctured aorta

“[The defendant] turned to [his friend] and told [him] to get the shank.”

She added: “The friend put his hand in his bag as if he was holding what I thought could be a knife’”

She said she saw the pair walking towards the third boy and went to warn someone she thought they might stab him.

The court heard she later saw the trio together, and there seemed to be “no problem”.

Jurors have been shown video of people dancing to Toxic by Britney Spears under disco lights in a marquee, before a fight is visible in the background.

The court has heard that Charlie was still conscious at 00:30 BST.

He suffered a cardiac arrest on the way to hospital, with internal bleeding caused by a punctured aorta.

He died in hospital two days later.

The trial continues.

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