Bodmin murder trial: Man accused of killing rugby player says he 'didn’t deliberately stab' anyone

Jake Hill, 25, being checked by security before entering the Eclipse nightclub outside Bodmin last April. Credit: CPS

The man accused of murdering a rugby player outside a nightclub in Bodmin has told a jury he was in "defence mode" and "didn't deliberately strike anybody" with the knife he was holding.

Jake Hill and his co-accused Chelsea Powell have been charged with the murder of Michael Riddiough-Allen who was stabbed to death outside the Eclipse Nightclub in Bodmin in the early hours of 30 April 2023. Hill is also faces other charges in regards to five other victims.

On the third day and final day of giving evidence, Mr Hill explained he was waving the combat knife because he had been knocked to the ground after being attacked and was unable to get up.

"It was in my hand but I didn’t deliberately stab it towards anyone", he told Truro Crown Court.

"I was panicking so I was not aware of the knife making contact with anyone."

Michael Riddiough-Allen died after he was fatally stabbed outside the Eclipse nightclub in Bodmin Credit: Devon and Cornwall Police/PA

Mr Hill said he did not realise people had been stabbed until his friend Rhiannon Tompsett came up to him and said, "you stabbed me".

He told the jury that at the time, he did not realise anyone had died that night and found out about Michael Riddiough-Allen's death on Facebook later that morning.

During cross examination the prosecution accused Mr Hill of lying about the "gaps" in his memories, something which he denies.

Prosecution barrister Mark Cotter KC said: "I am going to suggest that that is a lie.

"It is impossible to explain those events by your recollection and the only choice you have is to say my memory cuts out."

In further questioning, Mr Hill explained that he had tried to flush the knife down the toilet and hide it in an extractor fan because he was "scared of getting arrested".

He said his mind was going "100 miles a minute" and he "panicked" when he knew the police were outside the property.

The tactical knife was found wedged inside a bathroom extractor fan when police arrested Jake Hill last April Credit: CPS

In his first police interview after being arrested, Mr Hill admitted he had lied to officers about being in possession of a knife.

He said he did this because he thought it would damage his version of events where he was defending himself.

"I lied because I didn’t think anyone would believe me for one. I was in denial I didn’t want to accept someone had died", he told the court.

He told the jury how he changed his statement to police in his second interview, admitting he had a knife because he had "come to [his] senses at that point".

Mr Hill denies all the counts against him.

The trial continues.