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I am against violence, says accused.

Byline: Liz Day Reporter liz.day@walesonline.co.uk

A MAN jointly accused of murdering 35-year-old Russell Peachey in Cardiff last summer told a jury at Cardiff Crown Court: "I am against violence."

Christopher Smith, who denies murder, told the court he had only ever been involved in one fight, where he used his body as a shield to protect a man knocked unconscious.

The 34-year-old from Caerau Court in Cardiff said: "I have never started a fight or looked for trouble - I am against violence."

During cross-examination, prosecutor Vincent Coughlin QC suggested he had been "lying low" after the incident on August 1, but Smith said he had been at home looking after his son.

His barrister John Charles Rees QC said: "It was put to you very bluntly by my learned friend that you put the implement Mr [Shaminder] Singh gave you into your van hoping Mr Peachey would return, hoping to use mindless, serious violence."

Smith replied: "No I did not."

Asked about inconsistencies in his police interview, Smith said: "I was feeling nervous, anxious and very upset."

" His barrister said: "You have been criticised by the prosecution for saying in some of your answers 'I think this' or 'I think that.'"."

Smith responded by saying the police had shown him "misleading" CCTV clips, which made him doubt his own memory. During cross-examination, Mr Coughlin asked him about who had taken cocaine at Singh's flat on the night of Mr Peachey's death.

The prosecutor said: "Have I just caught you in a lie?" Smith replied: "I suppose you have."

Mr Coughlin added: "Do you agree, I gave you plenty of opportunity before you made that lie to put it right? Your credibility is important."

Mr Peachey was found lying in a pool of his own blood on North Street in Grangetown just after 4am on August 1. The case started with four defendants. Shaminder Singh, 40, from Cornwall Street, and Dean Beasley, 37, from Treharne Road, were found not guilty at the end of the prosecution case.

James Williams, 31, who does not have a fixed address, has pleaded guilty to manslaughter but denies murder.

(proceeding)

CAPTION(S):

Russell Peachey died in August 2014

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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Apr 1, 2016
Words:367
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