John Wright murder: Court hears drug dealer was acting in self defence

A DRUG dealer who is accused of murdering a man in Stockton, said he was acting in self defence, as he feared he was going to be struck with a brick, a court heard today.

Jordan Vaughan, 21, of Harlow Crescent, Thornaby, and Kienan Johnson, 22, of Windsor Road, Stockton have both been charged with the murder of John Wright, 41.

Mr Wright was found dead in Parliament Street, Stockton, at 2pm on Sunday, December 29, 2019.

He was beaten with an extendable baton and was then stabbed in the back with a knife.

Both Vaughan and Johnson deny the murder charge.

Teesside Crown Court heard that Mr Wright had paid Vaughan and Johnson for drugs with fake notes, which the pair did not realise until later on.

The court heard that the person Vaughan and Johnson were working for had told them to ‘give [Mr Wright] a slap’ for paying with counterfeit money.

However, Vaughan said that no serious harm was meant to be caused to Mr Wright.

Vaughan said he had started to carry a knife for his own protection, after he was attacked three times with weapons and sliced across the face, while selling drugs in the past.

Vaughan said that upon seeing Mr Wright, Johnson had ‘clipped him’ then ‘ran behind him and hit him in the back and the legs with a cosh a few times, then walked off.’

Vaughan said: “Mr Wright was still at the scene I followed Mr Johnson, then turned around to see if he [Mr Wright] was gone. He came at me with a house brick.”

Vaughan said he then stumbled back and both he and Mr Wright fell to the floor.

He said: “He was sitting on top of me, he went to pick the brick back up to hit it across my head, that’s what I thought was going to happen.

“I pulled out the knife for my own protection and stabbed it in his back.”

Vaughan then said that he thought if he hadn’t have used the knife he could have ended up in hospital.

The trial continues.

The Northern Echo | Teesside