Crack-taking drug dealer saw fatal fight but wasn’t involved city murder jury is told

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A DRUG dealer accused of murdering a Sheffield dad-of-three told a court he witnessed the fight - but wasn’t involved.

Ryan Paul Wood, aged 29, told jurors at Sheffield Crown Court he saw his co-accused Benjamin Grant being punched in the face by murder victim Damian Taff.

The prosecution claim Wood and Grant then attacked Mr Taff, aged 29, with a screwdriver and lock knife outside a drugs den in Swanbourne Road, Sheffield Lane Top.

Mr Taff died after being stabbed through the heart.

Crack addict Wood told the jury he was selling drugs because he owned money to his own dealers.

He said on the night of the murder he arrived at Swanbourne Road at 9pm, smoked some crack cocaine, drank alcohol and was also taking a heroin substitute.

“I was feeling a bit wired and run down,” he said.

Wood said he was asleep on a sofa when Grant arrived.

He said the fight started after they went outside to confront Taff and tell him to go away because he was hanging around and had robbed a customer.

Asked what he was expecting to happen, Wood said: “Nothing. I was just expecting him to run off.

“I just saw him jump up and punch him in the face. He staggered back.

“It just happened so fast.”

Wood has admitted selling Class A drugs.

Grant, aged 31, of Follett Road, Shiregreen, and Wood, of Liberty Place, Stannington, both deny murder.

Grant also denies conspiring to supply Class A drugs.

Antonio Anderson, 31, of Masters Crescent, Parson Cross, denies conspiring to supply Class A drugs, and Grant’s then-girlfriend Helen Thomas, 27, of Follett Road, Shiregreen, denies perverting the course of justice.

Emily Sanderson, 38, of Swanbourne Road, has pleaded guilty to conspiring to supply Class A drugs and perverting the course of justice.