A TEENAGER ran off after stabbing a boy to death with a combat knife in Bury town centre, a court has heard.

The 17-year-old and his group of friends was confronted by 18-year-old victim Abdikarim Abdalla Ahmed and his brother, who were seeking revenge after Abdikarim had been assaulted by one of them half an hour earlier.

But, after throwing a punch at the 17-year-old Kearsley teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, Abdikarim was stabbed in the chest by him outside the Mill Gate shopping centre.

The 18-year-old victim, known as Abdi to his friends, ran to the nearby Sky Bar with a collapsed lung and severed vein, but died soon afterwards.

The defendant denies murder and is on trial at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court.

Opening the case to the jury of four men and eight women, Alaric Bassano, prosecuting, told how the teenager claims he was acting in self-defence and had grabbed the folding combat knife, which has a 10cm blade, from Abdikarim’s hoodie during the altercation.

But the prosecution allege that the teenager, who was aged 16 at the time of the killing on March 11, was already armed with the knife, which needs knowledge of how to unlock and fold it, and deliberately stabbed sixth form student Abdikarim, knowing he would, at least, cause grievous bodily harm.

The court heard how Abdikarim had been on good terms with the 17-year-old earlier in the afternoon and they were captured on CCTV outside the Colorado Chicken shop fist-bumping each other.

But at 3.21pm he met the group again on the Rock and was punched in the face by one of them.

Abdikarim told his older brother, Faisal Ahmed, what had happened. The pair went in search of the group and found them near the entrance to the Mill Gate centre at 3.48pm.

Faisal later told police that his brother intended to slap those involved in the earlier assault and was not armed when he punched the defendant.

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Mr Bassano said: “The Crown accepts that the deceased used unlawful violence against the defendant in throwing a punch.

“But the defendant’s response was out of all proportion to anything he faced. The defendant’s response of stabbing with a dangerous knife with severe force was excessive, disproportionate and so unlawful.”

Faisal and Kai Miller, who was shopping in Bury town centre with his girlfriend, saw the teenager with a knife and Abdikarim was stabbed once in the chest near his armpit.

The severing of a vein led to massive internal bleeding and, such was the force with which the 10cm deep wound was inflicted, a lung collapsed and a rib bone was half cut.

The victim, clutching his chest and shouting that he had been stabbed, collapsed in the nearby Sky Bar. Abdikarim, who came to the UK in 2012 after his family fled war-torn Somalia, was rushed to hospital but could not be saved and was pronounced dead at 5.39pm.

The court heard that the attacker and his associates fled the scene and he disposed of the blood-covered knife in a wheelie bin in North Back Rock, near Tithebarn Street, as he went.

After climbing into a taxi in Hurst Street, the defendant and his friends headed for Garstang Avenue, Breightmet, where he disposed of tracksuit bottoms and a snood he had been wearing, in wheelie bins in nearby Back Bury Road.

The teenager was arrested at his home at midnight but claimed that he had acted in self defence, taking a 'penknife' from Abdikarim’s hoodie as he was attacking him and then striking him in the chest.

"I was panicking. I could not believe what had just happened," he said.

"Not for one moment did I think Abdul would die.

"I am so, so sorry and know that I have to live with this for the rest of my life."

But Mr Bassano told the court: “The defendant’s account of stumbling across this knife in the deceased’s hoodie is ludicrous and, furthermore, is inconsistent with accounts of witnesses and inconsistent with CCTV footage".

He stressed that the mechanism of the knife was so complex that a person would have to be familiar with it in order to use it.

He added that the defendant has a previous caution and conviction for offences involving knives and only two days before the stabbing had sent a text message to a friend stating: “Let’s go cop a shank” – the slang word for a knife or stabbing.

Mr Bassano told the jury: “The totality of the evidence should drive you to the sure conclusion that the defendant was carrying the offending knife, a weapon with which he was well acquainted and which he possessed in public to use as and when such use he judged desirable.

“The fact that the deceased threw a punch may be to his discredit – but it does not afford the defendant with a defence. The defendant’s use of such extreme violence was excessive, unlawful and renders him guilty of murder.”

The trial continues.