Killer stabbed man to death in front of cameras outside Black Country shops, murder trial told

A 31-year-old man was fatally stabbed by a teenager as he waited for pizza at a Black Country shopping parade, a trial heard.

Tributes at West Cross Shopping Centre where Karl Gallagher, inset, was killed
Tributes at West Cross Shopping Centre where Karl Gallagher, inset, was killed

Karl Gallagher was knifed in the chest by Tyrelle Harris, 19, outside West Cross Shopping Centre in Smethwick on the afternoon of April 26 last year, Wolverhampton Crown Court was told.

Harris was arrested two days later at an associate's address in New Road, Netherton, where he was found hiding in an attic.

Harris and Mr Gallagher confronted one another after arriving in separate cars and groups, before Harris pulled out a flick knife and stabbed Mr Gallagher, said Sarah Whitehouse QC, prosecuting.

He collapsed on the ground within seconds, while Harris, of Helvellyn Way, West Bromwich, and his associates fled the scene on foot and ran across a dual carriageway, the court heard.

Mr Gallagher, who had arrived at 4.30pm to order food from F1 Pizza, was pronounced dead at the scene at 5.21pm despite the efforts of paramedics.

A post-mortem examination revealed Mr Gallagher died of a single stab measuring three centimetres to his upper chest, which ruptured a main artery.

Opening the prosecution's case, Miss Whitehouse said Mr Gallagher arrived at the shopping centre in a Seat Leon as a front-seat passenger, along with several friends.

Karl Gallagher

She said: "Not long after they arrived, another car arrived. That was a black Hyundai. In that car was the defendant Tyrelle Harris, he was with three friends.

"Karl Gallagher and his friends returned from the shopping centre and sat in their car, waiting for pizza to be cooked.

"Within minutes, Mr Harris had fatally stabbed Mr Gallagher. He was captured on video carrying out the stabbing."

She continued: "Mr Gallagher was sitting in the Seat Leon and got out. He was wearing light coloured clothing that day.

Approached

"When he got out, he approached one of the individuals of the other car.

"Mr Harris walked forwards and approached Mr Gallagher. There is no dispute he is person in the CCTV. He was wearing a distinctive Gucci man bag across his body."

She said the two of them "moved away from the rest of the group".

"Mr Harris pulled out a flick knife at that point and Karl Gallagher backed away," she said.

"Mr Harris has followed him as he backed away and then the stabbing happened.

"Tyrelle Harris was the person who stabbed Karl Gallagher, there is no dispute about that.

"He admits that he stabbed Mr Gallagher but says he was acting in self defence."

The incident was captured on a number of CCTV cameras, alongside a mobile phone recording.

Harris discarded the knife down a drain in nearby Orchid Close as he fled, said Miss Whitehouse. The weapon was later recovered and forensically tested.

Harris also left his mobile phone in the car that he had arrived in, the Hyundai belonging to an associate, which helped police to track him down.

Harris declined to answer questions when interviewed.

Harris has denied murder but admits carrying an article with a bladed point.

The trial continues.

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