Murder accused 'confessed he had stabbed someone', court told

STABBED: Steven Butterworth

STABBED: Steven Butterworth

First published in News
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A MAN accused of murder confessed to an acquaintance that he had stabbed someone, a court heard.

David Dempsey is accused of fatally stabbing recently widowed Steven Butterworth at his home in Leigh last summer.

A man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, told Liverpool Crown Court on Monday that he knew Dempsey as a drugs customer of his.

He said he had known Dempsey by the nickname ‘Clarky’ for about four or five months by August last year and would meet him in Leigh to sell him drugs.

One day that month he saw him approaching near the Patak’s factory and noticed he was very pale and sweaty.

He said: “I sold him drugs, heroin and crack. He said he had stabbed someone. I didn’t believe him at first.

"A lot of people say a lot of things and it goes in one ear and out the other.

“But then I thought how he had approached me looking pale and sweaty. He didn’t tell me who he had stabbed.”

Questioned by Nigel Power, prosecuting, the man, who gave evidence from the witness box behind a curtain, said Dempsey had been wearing a grey T-shirt and grey track suit bottoms.

“He took them off and he wrapped them up with his hands and stuck them in a bush,” he said.

Cross-examined by Ben Myers, defending, the witness said he told police about what had happened because "I found it hard to deal with. I knew someone has died and I knew who has done it."

He admitted that he has convictions for offences and said they did not trouble his conscience, but knowing about the stabbing did.

Dempsey, aged 42, of Kermishaw Nook, Astley, has pleaded not guilty to murder.

Mr Butterworth, aged 62, was stabbed at his home in Diamond Street on August 25 last year and died in hospital from his injuries on September 27.

Mr Power alleged that Dempsey paid for the drugs from the witness with the proceeds of robbery at the victim’s home and during that robbery he stabbed him.

The trial continues.

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