John Wright: A single stab wound to the back caused Stockton man’s death

A MAN who was attacked over a drug debt died from a single stab wound to the back, jurors heard.

John Wright was attacked in the street by two men armed with a knife and extendable baton last Christmas.

The 41-year-old also suffered several injuries to his legs caused by blows from a baton-like weapon, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Home Office pathologist Dr Louise Mulcahy said Mr Wright suffered significant blood loss when the knife punctured the aorta artery, which carries blood away from the heart.

Describing the cause of death, she said: “Number one a stab wound to the back which caused damage to the underlying muscles, the spinal column and the aorta.

“There was approximately 2.5l of blood, described by the medical team who attended the scene, within the left chest cavity. There was no evidence of sharp force defence injuries to the hands.

“There was patterned tram line bruising to the backs of the lower limbs”

The court heard how emergency crew from the Great North Air Ambulance Service attended the scene but were unable to safe Mr Wright’s life.

The Northern Echo: John WrightJohn Wright

Jordan Vaughan, 21, and Kienan Johnson, 22, are charged with the murder of Mr Wright, who was found dead in Parliament Street, Stockton, at 2pm on Sunday, December 29.

The both deny the murder charge.

Under cross examination from Vaughan’s defence barrister, Toby Hedworth QC, asked the pathologist if she accepted the fatal wound could have been caused in self defence while the two fought on the ground.

Mr Hedworth said: “He accepts using the knife and causing the stab wound, if the scenario was that John Wright was on top of Jordan Vaughan and he put his hand over the top of the shoulder of John Wright and had the knife there – that would be consistent with what you found?”

Dr Mulcahy replied: “That is a scenario that is possible.”

Taxi driver Mohammed Fazal told the court how he took the pair to Middlesbrough bus station and how he remembered Johnson saying “he’s dead, he’s dead” while they talked in the back.

Earlier the jurors had heard how the pair were accused of carrying out their ‘cowardly attack’ on Mr Wright in broad daylight when they set about him with the knife and baton.

The jurors heard how Vaughan, of Harlow Crescent, Thornaby, has pleaded guilty to possessing a knife and Johnson, of Windsor Road, Stockton, has pleaded guilty to possession of the extendable baton.

  • The trial continues.

The Northern Echo | Teesside