A man accused of murdering Mark Noke during a failed robbery has told jurors he was not even there as he was instead at home taking drugs.

Justin Roach told Winchester Crown Court on the night Mr Noke died at his Thornhill flat, he was at home smoking crack cocaine and heroin. 

Giving evidence at the trial, he denied having any involvement in the planning or carrying out of the robbery on February 24 last year. 

The jury previously heard how a gang of five men had gone to Mr Noke's Warburton Road flat with one of them dressed up as a pizza delivery driver in order to gain access to the block. 

But Roach said this was not him, adding that he did not have an imitation firearm and only found out about the incident the next day. 

Daily Echo: Mark NokeMark Noke (Image: Hampshire Constabulary)

He told the jury he had gone out with Keiran Claffey, Aaron Morgan and Leighton Tabone earlier that evening, but had then gone back to his bedroom at his flat at Steep Close. 

He said he did not leave the property for the rest of the evening, adding that he was "taking drugs" until he fell asleep.

Asked when he heard of the incident, he said: "The next day when I woke up."

He claimed he was worried by this due to "the fact that I was with the accused not too long before the incident occurred".

Roach, 40; Keiran Claffey, 29, of Keynsham Road; Aaron Morgan, 32, of Bursledon Road; Bradley O'Dell, 22, of West Park Road and Leighton Tabone, 24, of no fixed address, deny murder and manslaughter.

Morgan, O’Dell, Roach and Tabone deny conspiracy to rob.

Claffey has already pleaded guilty to this charge.


Roach's barrister, Nick Haggan KC said the police had come to Steep Close looking for a motorcycle helmet following Mr Noke's death. 

Roach accepted that he had a helmet but said he hadn't worn it for "years". 

Asked why his co-defendants Claffey and Morgan would make up that he was there during the offence, he said: "I've no idea". 

The jury heard how Roach "fell off the rails" after his mother died in 2020 and would allow others into his home whilst he stayed upstairs or went out. 

He said he was dependent on heroin and crack cocaine at the time, taking it "all day every day" and "very much gave up".

The trial continues.