Jamie Magee claims in court he was part of a crack dealing duo using Corby home to peddle drugs
He told the jury that he could not rob the occupants - because half the money already belonged to him
A Corby robbery suspect has given evidence to a court claiming that he had been dealing crack with Jacob Sawa from a house in Corby.
Before a jury at Leicester Crown Court yesterday (Wednesday, March 3), Jamie Magee, 32, said that he hadn't gone to the house on the night of April 11, 2020, to steal a bumbag full of money because it already belonged to him.
Magee, of no fixed abode, said that it was in fact his relative Wes Brown who had committed the robbery after arriving at the house in Derwent Walk to buy crack cocaine with no money to pay for it.
Mr Brown later died after receiving a fatal wound to his wrist inflicted with a Stanley knife.
Giving evidence, Magee, who is charged with robbery and possession of a knife in a public place, said that he had known Jacob Sawa, who also goes by the name Jakub, for a couple of years.
"He was my partner," he said.
"I sold drugs with him. We sold crack from (the house in) Derwent Walk."
Magee claimed that a bumbag taken by him from the scene had contained £1,600 in takings belonging jointly to him and Mr Sawa. He said it was kept in the house because it was safer to keep it there.
The jury was again shown CCTV showing Magee coming and going to the property in the preceding days, which he said was because he was dealing from there. He was shown on camera giving the legal occupant of the property, Billy Hynds, money. When asked by defence barrister Paul Webb why he was giving him money, he said: "To accommodate his house to sell drugs from there."
He said that he and Mr Brown had not been good friends but had only seen each other at family parties and events.
On the night in question, Magee said that he and Wes Brown met up near to the house and knocked on the door at about 12.15am to see if they could get some crack cocaine for Mr Brown. Mr Sawa would not let them in.
But Mr Brown came in after Magee, who said an argument then ensued when Mr Sawa would not give Mr Brown any drugs.
He said he tried to intervene and vouch for Mr Brown, but instead Mr Brown swung a punch at Mr Sawa.
"Wes went for Jacob," said Magee.
"I don't know why. He thought Jacob was disrespecting him. I asked him what the f*** he was doing. He was my mate."
Then Billy Hynds brought a knife down and placed it on the stairs, which Magee said that he picked up and 'stashed in the garden' because he didn't want anyone to get stabbed.
"Jacob was shouting 'Billy get the Rambo," said Magee.
"I heard him and I know what that means, innit? He was saying chef him, get the Rambo. I was trying to stop the whole situation."
"Sawa's screaming 'Jamie don't let him rob us, don't let him jack us."
Mr Brown was shown on CCTV launching a sustained and brutal attack on Sawa, with blood covering a large part of the tiled floor.
Magee said that when the pair eventually stopped fighting they all left the house and he went alone to meet up with Sawa and Hynds outside Lodge Park School and handed Sawa half of the money in the bumbag.
He then went to his friend's house to buy crack and was told by his sister on the phone that Wes Brown had died. "I was devastated," he said.
"The words didn't rung true in my head. I was in shock.
"She told me he'd been found in a garden. I didn't know if someone had got him after that. I thought maybe someone had cut him and done something to him. I didn't know what to think. I didn't know if Sawa and that had gone back and kicked off."
Under cross examination Magee was asked by barrister Nadia Silver why the first time he was giving this version of events was from the witness box, and why he hadn't told police on previous opportunities.
"This account about which we're never heard before about you running a business with Mr Sawa, that's made up isn't it?," she asked.
"No," replied Magee.
"You're a drug user and not a seller. That's the reality isn't it?" said Ms Silver. "You thought they'd be easy marks, didn't you, and you thought there would be no comeback because they wouldn't report it, didn't you?"
"Nah," replied Magee.
He was also asked why, if he was an equal partner with Sawa, he was working as a cleaner in his friend Emma Wilkie's cafe.
"It was voluntary," he said. "I wasn't getting paid."
He was also asked why Miss Wilkie would lie about him telling her that he was going to rob the 'fa***** ' in the trap-house. He replied that he wouldn't use words like 'f*******''.
"It's easy to blame Wes, isn't it, because Wes isn't here to answer for himself?" said Ms Silver.
She asked if Mr Brown had a reputation as a hard-man in Corby, and was taken along as 'some muscle.' Magee refused to answer.
Ms Silver said that while Mr Sawa was face down on the couch, Magee had taken the bum bag off Sawa and left through the window.
"Why you don't do is try and pull Wes Brown off. You didn't help your business partner, Jacob Sawa?"
"No," replied Magee.
When asked why he had come in through the living room window and waved a knife around, he said that the others had knives too. But the CCTV showed Magee coming into the window with a knife while Mr Hynds was empty-handed.
He was also asked by Ms Silver why he had offered Mel Magee half of the £1,600 he told her he had on him.
"Isn't the reality is that you felt guilty having involved him in this plan? That's why you offered her the £800 that you said was Wes's share."
"I didn't say it was his share," Magee told the court.
The trial continues.