A friend of a young dad knifed to death has denied threatening to stab one of the men accused of his murder.

Bala Lloyd-Evans was stabbed in the heart while out celebrating Liverpool's Champions League win in the early hours of June 2.

Stepbrothers Ramal Edwards , 19, and Kieran Perry , 25, allegedly murdered him over a past stabbing , involving their little brother.

Lee Nimbley, then 14, suffered life-threatening injuries when he was stabbed in the back in an incident in Toxteth on April 21.

Back Colquitt Street Liverpool, scene of a stabbing.

Liverpool Crown Court has heard Mr Lloyd-Evans' brother, Gervais Anderson, and a man called Rashan Hamilton, were suspected of being involved.

Prosecutors say Edwards and Perry "came looking" for Mr Lloyd-Evans , 33, and his friends outside Ink Bar, in Fleet Street.

They allege Perry later grabbed and held the dad-of-two, while Edwards slashed his chest and knifed him in the heart.

 

Three of Mr Lloyd-Evans' friends (A, B and C, who cannot be named for legal reasons) gave evidence today.

Jurors were first shown a replica of the lock knife Edwards allegedly "ditched" in Cornwallis Street, after the 2.55am incident.

Prosecutors allege Edwards produced the knife during an altercation with A, outside Ink Bar, which they say "enraged" A.

Ink Bar in the Tea Factory building in Fleet Street

Detective Constable John Kerr said he could see a "dark object" in Edwards' hand on CCTV footage, but Edwards' lawyers dispute this claim.

The jury watched police video interviews with each of Mr Lloyd-Evans' young friends, who were then questioned.

C told police "everything seemed calm" and his friends were "happy", before he saw A outside Ink Bar, "angry, upset".

 

He said Mr Lloyd-Evans said "let me go and talk to them", but he didn't know who 'them' were, and tried to calm A down.

C said he saw Mr Lloyd-Evans "in a grapple" at the junction of Seel Street and Back Colquitt Street, when he was stabbed.

He said: "A man was behind him, and, like, sort of, lifted him up, and what it looked like to me, cos I didn't have my glasses on and I couldn't see that well, was I thought someone had pushed him, erm or punched him, maybe, and it was obviously, er, he's been stabbed."

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C said Mr Lloyd-Evans was held in a "headlock" and when he fell and he saw blood: "I just didn't understand nothing, it didn't make sense."

Cross-examined by Nicholas Johnson, QC, defending Edwards, he said he didn't see Mr Lloyd-Evans throw a punch, but A told him he saw it.

Questioned by Nigel Power, QC, defending Perry, he denied his group had waited on the corner to see if the other group were coming.

 

He disagreed that the person who had hold of Mr Lloyd-Evans let go after the first of "two punches", saying: "No, he kept hold of him."

B told police he saw A "agitated" in Fleet Street with a bottle in his hand, and A told him "someone has flicked a knife out on me".

He said he tried to get the bottle off A and eventually managed to, before putting it down, then walking after his friends.

B said he saw Mr Lloyd-Evans lying on the ground, with "a big gash in his chest" and "blood everywhere".

Questioned by Mr Johnson, he accepted arguing with A in Fleet Street, who pushed him over, but denied A was "up for a scrap".

He said he took the bottle off A "so he didn't do nothing stupid with it", like trying to protect himself with it.

 

A told police a man in a red cap - the two defendants' cousin Malik Thomas - led him outside the club to the pair.

He said one said "who you looking at?", he replied "no one, I’m just standing here", and one of them said: "F*** off, go away."

A told police he said to the man in the cap "why are you bringing me outside when you know these are gonna start like this?"

Police incident in Back Colquitt Street, Liverpool.

He said one of the pair - who he didn't name - produced a "flick knife", he was "agitated" and took a bottle off someone "because I felt threatened".

A said he told his friends including Mr Lloyd-Evans "these kids have pulled a knife on me", then said: "Let’s just leave it, let's go."

He said Mr Lloyd-Evans would have recognised the men and knew one of them had a knife, so wouldn't have gone after them for a fight.

 

A said he didn't see Mr Lloyd-Evans throw a punch in the subsequent "scuffle", but did see one man grab him by the throat and another waving his arms.

He said he chased after the men, but when following them down an alleyway was stopped by someone he didn't know, who punched him.

A said he was told by someone Mr Lloyd-Evans had been "stabbed up" and remembered thinking: "Please don’t let it be bad."

He said he didn't know what led up to the stabbing, adding that neither he nor Mr Lloyd-Evans were in dispute with anyone.

However, he then said the other men had previously had a fight with associates of his, related to Mr Lloyd-Evans.

 

Questioned by Mr Johnson, he said all his answers to police were truthful, but admitted lying about not knowing who the men were "to protect myself".

He denied lying that he had lost his phone and said what happened to Lee on April 21 was "nothing to do with me" as he was out of Merseyside.

A denied knowing who stabbed Lee, or that he was "part of the negotiations team" with Mr Lloyd-Evans trying to sort the situation out.

Bala Lloyd-Evans, aka Bala O'Rourke who died after being stabbed in Liverpool city centre

He accepted sending a picture of Edwards and Perry to Mr Lloyd-Evans on WhatsApp, because he didn't know what they looked like.

A agreed Mr Thomas didn't force him outside and that he had walked over to where Edwards and Perry were standing.

But he denied saying "who are you looking at?" to Edwards or that he threatened to stab Edwards.

 

A also denied that he had seen the pair on Seel Street and said "give me a knife" or "get me a knife" before Mr Lloyd-Evans was stabbed.

Cross-examined by Mr Power, A denied knowing it was being said Gervais Anderson was to blame for Lee being stabbed.

However, after he was shown WhatsApp messages, he accepted he did know this, yet chose to stand next to Lee's brother Perry outside Ink Bar.

He rejected Mr Power's suggestion a knife wasn't pulled on him and denied his group were "waiting for a knife to arrive" before the fatal confrontation.

Questioned by David McLachlan, QC, prosecuting, A said the only reason he had become upset was because "someone pulled a knife on me".

Edwards, of Emerson Street, Toxteth, and Perry, of Wendell Street, Toxteth, deny murder. Edwards also denies possessing an offensive weapon in public.

(Proceeding)