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Jaskaran Kang: Teen tells court he's not a murderer

A teenager who carried a type of Samurai sword to the scene of a fatal stabbing told a court he occasionally carried a knife but had never used one.

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Jaskaran Kang

Michael Cunningham, on trial with three others for robbing and killing 24-year-old shopkeeper Jaskaran Kang at his Dudley flat for drugs, claimed: "I'm not a murderer."

A bugged conversation during a custody visit between the 19-year-old and his father revealed the gang had thought that in addition to the drugs there was between £30,000 - £50,000 at the address.

But they fled the first-floor flat in Stourbridge Road with just a haul of cannabis after Mr Kang, a known drug dealer, was stabbed during a scuffle on the landing above a convenience store he ran with his brother.

Birmingham Crown Court has heard that the victim's flatmate Alex Clark had a blade held to his throat and stomach as he retrieved the drugs from the loft for Cunningham and Joshua Campbell.

Dontay Ellis and James Peake are said to have been responsible for the attack on Mr Kang although it is not known which one delivered the fatal blow.

In the immediate aftermath of the attack, Campbell 'went mad' at Ellis, asking him why he had done it, and threatening to 'smash his face in', Cunningham told police. By contrast Peake had kept quiet during the 'rant', he added.

But Campbell had only 'assumed' that Ellis was responsible as neither he nor Cunningham had been in a position to see anything outside on the landing, the jury heard.

Cunningham had told his father in the taped custody conversation that both Peake and Ellis had killed Mr Kang but giving evidence in the dock at Birmingham Crown Court he called it another 'assumption' as both were covered in blood and no one else had been on the landing.

In conversations with him he also said Peake and Ellis separately had blamed the other for inflicting the fatal stab wound to Mr Kang's leg on January 6, severing a major artery.

When quizzed in cross-examination he told the jury of previous occasions when Ellis had carried a knife during a robbery, including an attack in Staffordshire when he had robbed drugs and £2,000 cash about a month before Mr Kang's murder.

Cunningham of Coalway Road; Dontay Ellis, 19, from Central Drive, Lower Gornal; Campbell, 18, of King Edmund Street, Dudley; and Peake, 18, of Southgate Way, Dudley plead not guilty to murder.

Tyrone Johnson, 21, of Malthouse Drive, Dudley, denies manslaughter.

Cunningham and Peake have admitted conspiracy to rob; the others deny the charge, although Ellis has confessed to being at the scene. The case continues.

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