The potentially pivotal and lethal role one of the seven young men charged with the murder of Northampton teenager Liam Hunt was heard in court yesterday.
Jurors at Northampton Crown Court were told two conflicting accounts yesterday (February 20) - how Kane Allaban-Hamilton, 18, from Camp Hill, might have stabbed the 17-year-old in the neck - or that he might have stood back and done nothing.
A friend of Liam's, who witnessed the knife fight in which the 17-year-old was stabbed to death in February last year, gave evidence at Northampton Crown Court yesterday.
In a recorded police interview played to the court, he said: "We were standing on St George's Street having a fag.
"Without warning, this group of attackers comes from the direction of town. One of them grabbed Liam and then it all kicked off.
"I saw that a short, black lad had Liam in a headlock and it looked like he was punching him in the face. But he must have been stabbing him.
"Then this large, black man ran over to them and said 'give me my t'ing' three times. He was handed the knife and stabbed Liam in the leg.
"Kane [Allaban-Hamilton] stood about seven feet away shouting. I didn't see him get involved.
"When they saw all the blood, the attackers ran away within seconds."
In the same interview, the court heard the witness say how he had "never seen Allaban-Hamilton without a knife".
But Allaban-Hamilton's own defence barrister, Mr Michael Mather-Lees, suggested that Liam and his friends were armed with knives when the group attacked, and that his client had put the knife in Liam's neck while grappling with the 17-year-old.
He asked the witness: "There came a stage where Liam had a knife in his hand, wasn't there? And he tried to stick the knife into Kane? And Kane grabbed that knife. They wrestled with it. The knife went into Liam's neck. Then Kane took the knife and ran off. That's right, isn't it?"
The witness replied: "I did not see that, no."
The trial continues.