Fise Ames murder trial: Man admits he stabbed victim in legs, but claims it was 'self defence'

One of three men on trial for the murder of a South Tyneside man has admitted he stabbed the victim in the legs but told jurors "it was self defence".

Shaun Riches, Michael Raine and Scott Mitchell went into Faisal Ames Abdou's home, in South Shields, in the early hours of the morning and murdered him, it is claimed.

All three deny murder and are being tried by a jury at Newcastle Crown Court.

Giving evidence from the witness box today, Riches told jurors he stabbed Mr Abdou because he was armed and attacked first and added: "He would have tried to kill one of us."

Three men are accused of the murder of Fise Ames, inset.

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Riches told the court he and the two other accused men had gone to the home of Brandon Cairns in the early hours of March 5, 2022, but did not know Mr Abdou was also living there at the time.

He said: "I just thought I was going to party, sell him some MDMA, have a couple of lines."

Riches said if he had known Mr Abdou was there "I wouldn't have went" as he believed he stole from people.

He told the court when he and the other two men got to the front door of the flat, at Marshall Wallis Road, it was opened by Brandon Cairns, who let them in and locked it behind them.

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Riches said there were no lights on inside the flat, apart from in the bedroom, where Scott went into.

His barrister Toby Hedworth QC asked Riches if he heard anything from that room and he replied: "Aye, it sounded like fighting, straight away.

"I went straight in.

"Scott was backing off, towards me, towards the door, waving his hands around.

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"There was blood p***ing out of his hand."

Riches said he then saw Mr Abdou "with a knife in his hand" and told the court: "I knew he was trying to rob us straight away.

"I thought something was weird as soon as I saw him (Mr Cairns) lock the door."

Riches said he kicked Mr Abdou in the chest, which caused him to drop the knife to the floor but he started "reaching about on the bed", where there was another knife.

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He told jurors at the trial how he came to stab the victim in the legs as he feared for his life and the lives of others with him.

He told the court: "I picked the knife up off the floor.

"I started stabbing him in the legs.

"I was scared.

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"He would have tried to kill one of us."

Riches said he did not know how many times he used the knife but added: "I never wanted to seriously hurt him."

He added that he was "gutted" when he found out Mr Abdou had died and told the court: "I didn't expect him to die by stabbing him in the legs.

"It was self defence.

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"He was going to stab me."

Riches, 24, of Wycliffe Avenue, Newcastle, Raine, 35, of Grace House, Percy Main, North Tyneside, and Mitchell, 25, of no fixed abode, all deny murder.

The trial continues.