Pedestrian who denies murdering motorist tells court ‘it was all a blur’

Alexander Layton, on trial at Teesside Crown Court, denies murdering James Stokoe in May 2020.

Tom Wilkinson
Wednesday 01 December 2021 17:42
James Stokoe, 40, who was stabbed to death in front of his son (Cleveland Police/PA)
James Stokoe, 40, who was stabbed to death in front of his son (Cleveland Police/PA)

A pedestrian who fatally stabbed a driver after the motorist performed an emergency stop to avoid running him over has told a jury “it was all a blur”.

Alexander Layton, 34, from Shackleton Close, Thornaby, Teesside denies murdering James Stokoe who was sat in his BMW with his four-year-old son in the back when he was repeatedly knifed.

The married 40-year-old, who worked at a local car dealership, died in an ambulance at the scene in Thornaby in May 2020.

Mr Stokoe shouted angrily at Layton after almost running him over on Trenchard Avenue and pulled his car over to remonstrate with the pedestrian, Teesside Crown Court has heard.

Layton is claiming self-defence and has told jurors he believed Mr Stokoe had a weapon in his vehicle.

CCTV and dashcam footage shows the lead up and the stabbing, which Layton carried out using a kitchen knife he was carrying in his rucksack.

Later that day he went camping in Great Ayton, which is where he dumped the knife that has never been recovered, he told jurors.

Prosecutor Peter Makepeace QC cross-examined the defendant and said: “You know full well at the very least if you stab somebody six times with the force you were using, you were going to cause really serious bodily harm.”

Layton replied: “I don’t remember what happened at the time, it was all a blur.”

The trial continues on Thursday.

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