Thame 'murder' trial: Friend of Joshua Harling describes 'knife attack'
A teenager has described the horrifying events which led to the driver of a car in which he was travelling being’ stabbed’ and killed.
Prosecutors allege that Nathan Braim, 20, of Broadwaters Avenue, Thame, and Benjamin Eyles, 19, of Monks Hollow, Marlow Bottom, killed Joshua Harling on the night of July 22 – which they both deny.
Accountant Mr Harling, who lived in Headington, Oxford, was found in his crashed car on Chinnor Road, Thame, but could not be saved.
A 15-year-old was in the passenger seat of Mr Harling’s car, which flipped over onto its roof after the incident.
The boy’s recorded statement was played to Oxford Crown Court today.
He said he had been at his friend’s house in Thame playing video game Call of Duty before ringing Mr Harling to pick him up in his dark green VW Polo.
He said that he had ‘vaguely’ noticed a group of five teenagers in hoodies walking around the corner near to where he was waiting for Mr Harling – who said he was by the ‘Lower School’ and was about 15 minutes away.
But when Mr Harling arrived and spotted the teenagers, he reportedly told the youth, ‘I’ve got too much cash to be f****** around’ and stopped the car to confront them.
He was then said to have picked up a metal baton that was between his car seats and told the boy to ‘stay calm’.
The jury heard the boy tell police: “I don’t think he realised he was going to get stabbed.
“He told me to stay calm.
“I did try to get out of the car but he said stay in the car and locked it.”
He then recalled seeing Mr Harling square up to two teenagers, one in a black hoodie and the other in a T-Shirt, before hitting them with a baton.
He said the teenager closest to him then ‘threw a distraction punch’ with his left hand towards Mr Harling’s shoulder before stabbing him with a knife in his right hand, the court heard.
Mr Harling was then said to have hit the second male with the baton before running back to the car, unlocking it and then ‘jumping’ into the driver’s seat.
He was then said to have stalled the car as one of the males ‘kung fu kicked’ the back windscreen which smashed into tiny pieces on the road.
The boy said Mr Harling then managed to drive off but was ‘really out of breath’.
He was said to be holding his stomach and told the boy to call 999, saying that he had been stabbed.
In his recorded statement to police, the boy told the court that Mr Harling had said he was going to ‘pass out’ and as the 19 year-old went to ‘grab the wheel’ the car swerved, hit a curb, lost control, crashed and then flipped onto its roof.
He told police: “The whole thing consisted of maybe one to two minutes. It was quite quick.”
Braim arrived in court wearing a white shirt and blue gilet and sat next to Eyles in the dock who was wearing a pink shirt, spotty tie and blue chequered suit.
The trial at Oxford Crown Court continues.
Bucks Free Press
Hillingdon & Uxbridge Times
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