Alfie Lewis: Murder accused 'bubbly and chatty' before deadly attack on teenager

Alfie Lewis died after being stabbed outside St Margaret's Primary School in Horsforth last year.

A schoolboy accused of murder was “bubbly and chatty” in his last lesson of the day before stabbing another teenager through the heart, a court has heard.

Alfie Lewis, 15, was stabbed to death in front of pupils leaving a primary school in the Horsforth area of Leeds on 7 November last year.

A 15-year-old boy on trial over the attack denies murder, claiming he was acting in self-defence. He cannot be named due to his age.

On Tuesday, Leeds Crown Court heard a statement from one of the defendant’s teachers, who said his behaviour was “nothing out of the ordinary” during the last lesson of the day.

“He was both bubbly and chatty. He was just his normal self.”

The teacher said the defendant “left the classroom quickly” when the lesson finished, but “so did most of the other students, as is normal”.

“I can say with absolute certainty there was nothing at all in his behaviour during the lesson that gave me any cause for concern.

“He gave me no indication of what his intentions were.”

The court also heard evidence from the defendant’s friend, who was walking back from school with him on the day of Alfie’s death.

The witness said there had been nothing unusual about the defendant that day, and he had not mentioned Alfie, or being worried about anything.

Tributes left on a bench on Broadgate Lane, Horsforth Credit: Dave Higgens/PA

He told jurors that as the two of them were walking, they saw Alfie on his own near a crossing close to a primary school.

“Normally we just cut through in front of the gate to the primary school but whilst we were walking [the defendant] just cut off me to go to Alfie’s direction.

“I was just really confused why he just left me, so I just carried on walking.”

The witness said the defendant looked “more concentrated” after seeing Alfie.

He told the court that as he was walking away, he heard Alfie shout "chill out”.

“I turned round and saw [the defendant] holding a knife and attacking Alfie."

He said Alfie was walking backwards at the time, adding: “After [the defendant] stabbed Alfie, he just ran off.”

Being questioned by defence barrister Nicholas Lumley KC, the witness agreed he “must have missed the start of whatever happened” as he had his back to Alfie and the defendant.

He said he had never seen the knife before and did not know where it had been before it was in the defendant’s hand.

A girl who saw the incident described seeing a boy “standing innocently” and being approached by another boy.

In a pre-recorded interview played in court, she said: “I don’t know what he was doing but he was standing there, he wasn’t doing anything and the other guy came up to him.

“They started pushing each other. The one in the grey outfit fell on the floor and he was screaming. He was saying ‘chill out’. He fell on his back with his knees upwards.”

The girl said she could only see the other boy, who was wearing a school uniform, from behind but saw him flicking his knife around three times.

“You could tell it was a knife because it was really sharp,” she said.

The witness said the boy in grey “had his hands up” and appeared to be trying to push the other boy back.

“I was really scared at that point," she said.

"I didn’t see every detail. I was just thinking ‘call the police or something’. I was too scared to do anything.”

A woman who was walking to do the school run said she saw the two boys “fighting in some way”, and witnessed one “stab [Alfie] in the chest”.

She told the court: “I’m not sure what the altercation was. However, Alfie didn’t do anything to him personally to start a fight with him. Alfie seemed like the innocent party, he hadn’t raised a fist to him.”

Asked by Mr Lumley if Alfie had kicked the defendant, she said: “Alfie didn’t fight back. He was scared for his life and you could tell.”

Jurors have heard about two previous incidents involving Alfie and the defendant.

Prosecutor Craig Hassall KC told jurors that, on the day he died, Alfie had been walking down the street to meet friends when the defendant, who was 14 at the time, attacked him with a 13cm long kitchen knife he had brought from his home.

He said witnesses recalled Alfie looking “surprised and shocked” and saying to the defendant “what are you doing?” as the incident unfolded close to St Margaret’s Primary School.

The prosecutor said a post-mortem examination revealed the fatal stab injury was a 14cm deep wound to Alfie’s chest which punctured his heart.

He added: “As we understand it, [the defendant] will accept that Alfie was killed by the knife from his kitchen drawer at home, but will say that, at all times, he was acting in self-defence.”

The trial continues.

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