Cocaine dealer says stabbing Thomas Cudjoe to death in Ley Street, Ilford was self-defence

A cocaine dealer who stabbed a man to death on the forecourt of a petrol station last year told a court he was acting in self-defence.

Jerome Green, 23, of Ashgrove Road, Seven Kings said he was responsible for killing Thomas Cudjoe on November 3.

Mr Cudjoe, 29, of Richmond Road, Ilford died on the forecourt of the Shell petrol station in Ley Street, Ilford from stab wounds to the legs and chest.

Green was appearing at the Old Bailey on Thursday alongside his co-defendants Reece Garwood, Courtney Mitchell, Asher Johnson and his brother Lewis Johnson.

The jury watched CCTV of the five defendants leave The Bell pub, next to the garage, at about 3.15am when Mr Cudjoe pulled up to the petrol station in a blue Ford Focus.

It was then that the defendants are said to have repeatedly assaulted the trapped Mr Cudjoe in the car before Jerome Green is accused of stabbing him.

Defencing Green, Jerome Lynch said: “You are responsible for the killing of Thomas Cudjoe,” to which Green replied: “Yes sir”.

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Green went on to say: “I thought my friends were in some sort of trouble. He was reaching to the left-hand side of the car into the footwell. I thought he was reaching for a weapon. I was right on top of him.”

He said that he got the knife out of Mr Cudjoe’s hand and used it on him in self-defence.

Green said: “I had it [the knife] in my right hand and stabbed him because I was scared for my life. I have no idea where I stabbed him. He was fighting back to get the knife.”

A post-mortem found that Mr Cudjoe had 14 stab and slash wounds.

Prosecution said that the killing was in revenge after Mr Cudjoe was cleared twice by jury of shooting and paralysing Reice Okosi in August 2010.

Garwood, 21, of Overton Drive, Chadwell Heath; Mitchell, 23, of Clandon Road, Seven Kings; Asher Johnson, 25, and his brother Lewis Johnson, 22, both of Bellamy Close, Isle of Dogs each deny a single charge of murder.