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HOW IT HAPPENED; MURDER JURORS WATCH SILENT RE-ENACTMENT OF STREET STAB ATTACK.

Byline: By GARRY WILLEY

MURDER jurors left their courtroom to watch a demonstration of how prosecutors claim Robert Richardson was stabbed.

The 33-year-old tyre fitter was behind the wheel of a slowly-moving transit van when he suffered a fatal wound near his neck.

His girlfriend's brother, Lee Crud-das, allegedly knifed him after smashing the van window during a clash in Kirkley Close, Fawdon, Newcastle, last September.

Witness Ian Taig, who was working in the street, told police he saw an armed man "prodding" through the window at the van driver.

And escorted by a jury bailiff, the 12-strong panel was taken to a secure car park at Newcastle Crown Court to watch Mr Taig give a demonstration of what he saw.

The red transit Mr Richardson had been driving was brought to the court complex.

And the trial Judge, Mrs Justice Cox, told the jury no words would be spoken.

"To better understand what the witness is describing it may help you to see him demonstrate what it is he says he saw," Justice Cox said.

"The red van has been brought to this court and the demonstration will take place in a restricted area of the car park.

"It will take place in conditions of privacy with the entrance and exit closed to the public for the duration of the demonstration."

Justice Cox said no-one should speak and told the jury: "It is best for you to just stand and watch what happens."

Giving evidence in court, Mr Taig said he heard male and female voices before turning towards the van when he heard breaking glass. He described seeing a man with a weapon near the driver's side.

"It all happened so fast," Mr Taig said. "He was actually leaning into the van and prodding the driver.

"The van pulled forward leaving him standing where he was and then it drove off."

Mr Richardson, from Kenton, Newcastle, collapsed behind the wheel only a few hundred yards from the scene.

A post mortem confirmed he bled to death.

Cruddas, 19, of Great North Road, Gosforth, Newcastle, denies murder.

The trial continues.

CAPTION(S):

FATAL WOUND: Robert Richardson was knifed; POLICE INQUIRY: Robert Richardson was attacked as he sat in a van
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:May 15, 2008
Words:371
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