THE godfather of the man accused of murdering Dele Little told a court today how Aaron Roche was a "delightful young man."

Barry Thomas appeared at Winchester Crown Court as a character witness for 21-year-old Roche who he has known since he was born.

Mr Thomas, a retired farmer, who owns a 20-hectare nature reserve, said he had lived three miles away from the Roche family.

He told jurors: "I have seen him right throughout his life. He was a delightful little boy. I enjoyed his company. He is very pleasant."

He continued: "When he was young he was always very helpful and very interested. He's a person who likes to be busy. He is a very hard worker, he's always working. When I have needed help I ask him and if he's not working he would always come and give me a hand."

Mr Thomas said Roche was a good musician who wrote songs and added: "Whatever he's interested in, he learns about. I particularly noticed it with the wildlife."

Mr Thomas said Roche's nature enabled him to get close to wild animals such as deer and foxes.

He added: "Aaron has got a lovely personality. He is naturally happy. He doesn't seem to like any kind of confrontation. He never would have an argument. He's quite delightful really."

Mr Thomas was appearing for the defence of Roche, formally of Ringwood Road, Lyndhurst, who denies murdering 15-year-old Dele Little by stabbing him once through the heart.