A drug dealer has told a jury he is ‘truly sorry’ for stabbing a Northampton man in the chest and killing him in a Kingsley neighbourhood last year.
Daniel Quinn, 28, from Wolverhampton, took the stand at Northampton Crown Court today (February 12) to say ‘he did not mean to kill’ 34-year-old Daniel Fitzjohn on June 14 last year.
Mr Fitzjohn’s family and friends could only quietly cry as Quinn told the jury he ‘wasn’t thinking’ when he lunged at the 34-year-old and fatally stabbed him the chest.
“I’m truly sorry,” he told the court. “I didn’t think it through. I just wish I had had more time to think about.”
Quinn told the court he was a drug dealer who reportedly sold crack and heroin to one of Mr Fitzjohn’s friends.
However, a friend had allegedly pulled a knife on him during a deal in early June.
It led to several tense confrontations between the two afterwards, and eventually to a scuffle outside the Fairfield News shop in Kingsley on June 14 - during which Mr Fitzjohn punched Quinn to the floor.
But Quinn then drove to a nearby house to collect Parminder Sanghera, 25, also from Wolverhampton - who is now Quinn’s co-defendant and charged with conspiracy to murder.
Quinn said: “I told him we were going to smash up this red car I thought was theirs [Mr Fitzjohn’s friend]. I told him there was something under his seat to smash the car up with.” It was a machete.
They found the red car and Mr Fitzjohn’s group in Brookfield Road, and ran at them with the machete and a knife that Quinn kept in his pocket.
It led to Quinn and Sanghera driving away without damaging the red car.
But as they drove away, Quinn spotted Mr Fitzjohn walking on Carlton Road.
Quinn said: “I was angry. I wanted to get out and jump on him for punching me.
“I didn’t know his name.
“I asked him, ‘Why did you get involved when you don’t know me?’ I don’t remember what he said back.”
It led to Mr Fitzjohn running and Quinn chasing after him. A witness told the court last week they heard the foot chase and a man - Mr Fitzjohn - saying ‘I don’t know you, you’ve got the wrong guy’ in a panicked voice.
Then, Mr Fitzjohn stopped on Randall Road to face Quinn.
Quinn said: “I had my knife in my hand. It was just to scare him.
“I thought he was going to swing at me. He had a beer can in his hand.
“I thought he was going to get me so I got him before he could get me.
“So I lunged at him... I stabbed him. It all happened very quickly.”
Quinn then ran away and was driven away by Sanghera. He hid in Wolverhampton and Wales over the next five days, but turned himself in to Northamptonshire Police on June 19.
He told the jury he ‘never meant’ to kill Mr Fitzjohn or cause him serious harm.
Mr Fitzjohn was pronounced dead in hospital half an hour after the stabbing. A post mortem showed he died of two stab wounds. Quinn claims he only remembers ‘stabbing him once on Randall Road’ and must have inflicted the other wound ‘by accident’.
The trial continues.