Ryan Passey murder trial: Amateur footballer was killed after 'trivial' altercation
An amateur footballer was stabbed in the heart by a partygoer after a ‘minor’ squabble on the dance floor, a court heard.
Ryan Passey was fatally wounded by nightclub reveller Kobe Murray, 19, just hours after walking into Stourbridge spot Chicago’s.
The 24-year-old was with friends when Murray plunged the blade into his chest after only ’some punches’ were thrown, prosecutors allege.
Opening the case at Birmingham Crown Court, prosecutor Mr Phil Bradley QC said: “The prosecution’s case is that when he drove that knife into Ryan Passey, Kobe Murray did so deliberately and with the intention of causing Mr Passey really serious harm, and is therefore guilty of murder.”
Murray, of The Broadway, Dudley, denies murdering Mr Passey at the Rye Market club on August 6.
Both men, who did not know each other, were with friends at the ‘busy’ club when their groups ended up in the same area of the dance floor.
A minor altercation broke out at about 12.50am, with door staff warning Murray’s group ‘against trouble’, Mr Bradley said.
Just moments after, Murray was spotted by a friend leaning against a window grasping an object - about five to six inches long - near his waistband, the prosecutor alleged.
His friend believed it was a knife, the court was told.
The prosecutor went on to say a second altercation soon broke out with punches thrown ‘at most’.
Addressing the jury on Monday, Mr Bradley said: “The prosecution’s case is that it was a knife and Kobe Murray was preparing himself for further trouble.
“And sure enough when trouble flared up again, about five minutes later, Kobe Murray stepped in, plunging the knife into Ryan Passey’s chest.
“That single violent movement brought Mr Passey to the floor.
“There is no suggestion that Ryan Passey or anyone in his group was armed with a knife it other weapon.”
Jurors were told the defendant then fled the scene, attempting to shield his face from CCTV cameras as he left.
Blood on the weapon
He was followed by his friends, with Murray confessing he had ‘stabbed someone’, Mr Bradley said.
Murray then pulled out the blade while in his friend’s car, revealing blood on the weapon.
The suspect was driven away from the town, stopping in Dudley’s Cochrane Road where he allegedly disposed of the blade in undergrowth.
He later dumped his clothes before going into hiding, the court was told.
Later that morning, Murray called his mother, telling her he had ‘done something really stupid and that he had messed up’.
She called police while her husband collected their son from Tipton, Mr Bradley said.
Murray then revealed to his father Mr Passey had punched him, adding: “I then got the knife and stabbed out.”
The defendant claimed he discarded the blade - which he said was not his - and burned his clothing.
His father then drove him to West Bromwich police station, where he told officers he was ‘responsible’ for the incident.
In a prepared statement handed to police during interview, Murray later said: “I deny I murdered Ryan Passey.
“Also, I was attacked in Chicago’s nightclub. If I used a knife, it was in self defence.
“I do not recall the exact circumstances of the night due to being attached and being intoxicated.”
Mr Passey, of Quarry Bank, was pronounced dead at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital just after 2am, the court heard.
The trial continues.