Man, 26, was stabbed to death with a 3ft Samurai sword thrust through a front door, court hears 

David Harris (pictured above) denied charges of murder and intent after the incident in Somerset last year

A man who was trying to break into a home after arguing with the occupant over a mobile phone bled to death after the resident pushed a three-foot samurai sword through the front door, a court heard.

Jonathan Roper was trying to get into the home of David Harris in Somerset in order to retrieve some money and a phone which the court heard had been taken during a disagreement on March 23 2019.

Harris, 26, then stuck the one metre long lethal sword out of the entrance to his property – plunging it into him.

The weapon went 9.8 inches into the 34-year-old’s stomach causing fatal damage to several organs and arteries and he bled to death on the pavement outside, it was said.

Bristol Crown Court was told that witnesses in the home said the group had been trying to ‘break in’ when the defendant shoved the sword through the door.

Harris denies charges of murder and wounding with intent. 

Five people, including several members of the Roper family had driven to the property in order to confront Harris.

The day before two teenagers had travelled to the property to buy cannabis, but the court heard that when they arrived, one was pulled inside the house and had their phone taken off them. This angered members of the Roper family who later sent members of the Harris family text messages warning them that they had ‘made a mistake’. 

Anna Vigars, QC, prosecuting said that Harris did not warn the people outside the property, nor did he brandish the weapon.

‘He simply responded by attacking those people outside. People are, of course, entitled to defend themselves. The question will be – how proportionately?

Jonathan Roper (pictured above) died after he was stabbed in the stomach, he bled to death, a court heard

Jonathan Roper (pictured above) died after he was stabbed in the stomach, he bled to death, a court heard

Police on the scene the day after the incident. The closed roads and cordoned off the area

Police on the scene the day after the incident. The closed roads and cordoned off the area 

‘An incident which at worst could have been punch-up on a doorstep instead resulted in the death of a man.’

The trial was told the incident happened at the property in Wells, Somerset when a group arrived at the home.

They were angry over a disagreement that took place in the home a day previously, it was said.

The court heard a group of teens had gone to the house – occupied by father Adrian Harris and sons Jamie and defendant David – the day before to buy drugs.

But a ‘disagreement or dispute’ ensued involving one of the youths and they all left soon after.

Mrs Vigars said: ‘There’s some suggestion that a mobile phone was taken [during the dispute] or he was using a dodgy £20 note.

A police van is seen blocking the road leading to the property where Jonathan Roper died

A police van is seen blocking the road leading to the property where Jonathan Roper died 

‘There’s some suggestion there was physical violence used towards him by the same people in the house.’

This news of the incident was then relayed back to a group involving Jonathan and Lesley Roper.

The pair spent the following afternoon drinking in a pub before deciding with three others to confront the occupants of the house.

A witness inside the house, who is not being named, described hearing ‘aggressive banging’ when the group first arrived.

Mrs Vigars said: ‘From upstairs she heard some shouting. She heard the door open and some really angry and quite low voices.

‘David and Jamie ran downstairs. She could see the three of them [Adrian] pushing the door to get it shut. Jamie shouted at her not to come downstairs.

‘When he came back up he said a group of men had been trying to break in. They went out onto the landing.

‘She then saw what she described as a samurai sword and it had what looked like a lot of blood on it.

‘David said something like: ‘I’ve got someone’. He knew what he had done.

The weapon – shown to the jury – was described as ‘about a metre long’

The witness said she could see blood from ‘tip of the blade to the handle’ following the incident, which happened in a matter of seconds.

After Jonathan Roper had been hurt, Lesley Roper was also caught by the blade – causing a sizeable injury to his arm.

Mrs Vigars said: ‘[The witness] then heard the tap running. When [the sword] was examined it had David Harris’ and Jonathan Roper’s DNA.

‘What is clear is this: Jonathan Roper and Lesley Roper were hurt by a weapon thrust out of the front door.

‘The weapon [the witness] saw was covered in blood and David Harris took it into the bathroom to wash it.

‘It’s a weapon which is instantly and obviously capable of causing huge damage.’

After being stabbed Jonathan Roper staggered to nearby Wookey Hole Road, where he bled to death on the pavement.

The trial continues.

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk

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