Teenager stabbed in neck in Chelmsford play park by drug dealer in turf war, court told

Andy Wood died in hospital following a serious stab wound to his neck. Credit: Essex Police/Family photo

A 16-year-old boy was stabbed in the neck by a balaclava-clad drug dealer who set out to rob him as he was "selling on his patch", a court has heard.

Andy Wood died in hospital following a serious stab wound to his neck, near a green space off Waterson Vale in Chelmsford on the night of 12 February 2023.

Prosecutor Christopher Paxton KC described the blow as being "delivered with force and intent", causing "uncontrollable bleeding."

The barrister told Chelmsford Crown Court that 19-year-old Elijah Clark, who denies Mr Wood's murder, fled the scene taking the knife he used with him and disposing of it.

He said Clark, who was arrested at his home address "within an hour or so of that murder", had not revealed where the knife was.

Mr Wood collapsed not far from where he was stabbed in Waterson Vale, Chelmsford Credit: ITV News Anglia

The prosecutor said Clark had arranged to buy drugs from Mr Wood and turned up wearing a balaclava and armed with a knife.

"This was about the defendant, Mr Clark, setting out to rob Andy Wood and demonstrate his authority and he did so we suggest, to use his words, with a Rambo tucked," said Mr Paxton.

He said Clark saw Mr Wood as an "interloper" who "turned up selling on his patch".

Mr Paxton said that during the incident, Clark said to a friend of Mr Wood who was also there: "Do you know who I am?"

"We suggest [Clark] saw himself as something of a drug dealer with a status and a standing he was keen to record," said Mr Paxton.

19 year old Elijah Clark denies murdering 16 year old Andy Wood Credit: Essex Police

He said Clark had previously been caught in possession of a machete in London in June 2022.

Mr Paxton said Clark is expected to say he was acting in self-defence.

Clark, of Gloucester Avenue, Chelmsford, denies murder.

He also denies an alternative charge of manslaughter, and he denies having a bladed article and the assault occasioning actual bodily harm of Mr Wood's friend.

The trial continues.

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