A TEENAGE drug dealer accused of stabbing a Southampton youngster to death told a court how he needed to carry a knife for his own protection.

The 15-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, denies murdering teen James Laurie, pictured, during an incident in Lindsay Road on January 19 this year.

He also claims it was an accident.

Daily Echo:

Appearing before Winchester Crown Court on Wednesday he was asked by prosecution barrister Tahir Khan QC if he had ever had a ‘zombie’ knife in his possession.

This type of knife can have a cutting blade of up to 25 inches, a serrated edge and include images or words that glamorise violence.

The defendant comfirmed he did.

When confronted about photos of him posing with knives and asked if he was showing off, again he answered yes.

The court heard how the boy shared these images in a group chat via social media.

Daily Echo:

When the 15-year-old was asked why, he said he “didn’t know” and was “just being an idiot”.

Mr Khan suggested he was sharing the images as a way of glorifying carrying weapons, something the defendant agreed with.

Giving evidence in front of a jury, the teen from Andover said he did not intend to kill James.

As reported, the 17-year-old Southampton victim was rushed to hospital but later died of organ failure due to blood loss.

Daily Echo:

CCTV previously played to the court showed the defendant run into the Co-op store in Hinkler Road shortly after the incident.

He was arrested for attempted murder when James was still “gravely ill” and over the following days gave four no-comment interviews.

In his fifth interview on January 21, he presented a pre-prepared statement and went on to answer further police questions.

When asked about the blade, the defendant described it as no longer than his forearm.

He claimed he got rid of it because he “was scared and didn’t know what to do”.

The trial continues.