Dad cleared of murder attempt

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A MAN accused of trying to stab to death a friend after he intervened in a row with the mother of his children has been cleared of attempted murder.

Josiah Foster, aged 18, of Burngreave Road, Burngreave, stood trial for allegedly knifing 24-year-old Darren Helliwell in his chest, thigh and back in an alleyway off Somerville Terrace in Walkley.

The prosecution claimed Foster told Darren he was ‘going to get bang-banged’ after he stepped in when Foster argued with Jade Wardle, mum to his two young children.

But Foster said he used the blade in self-defence after Darren came after him with the six-inch knife and dropped it on the ground.

While giving evidence at Sheffield Crown Court, Darren contradicted his police statement given just hours after the incident in February.

He told the court Foster’s unidentified accomplices were responsible for his injuries instead.

“Some people came from behind and stabbed me - I don’t know who they were,” he said.

Jurors took four hours to acquit Foster by unanimous verdicts of attempted murder and possessing an offensive weapon.

Judge Mr Justice Openshaw later discharged the jury after they were unable to reach a verdict on a charge of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

The judge thanked the jury for their ‘conscientiousness’.

Foster, who denied all the charges, told the jury he ‘lashed out’ at Darren in self defence and said he was afraid for his life.

He told the court he was alone when he carried out the stabbing and claimed that Darren had chased him with the knife.

“Darren was very aggressive towards me.

“I lashed out to stop him from beating me, I don’t know how many times,” he said.

“I believe if I hadn’t acted in self-defence I wouldn’t be here today.”

He said he fled when Darren turned away, clutching his side.

Foster was convicted of possessing a lock knife in July last year, jurors heard.

After discharging the jury, Mr Justice Openshaw remanded Foster in custody.

He is set to appear in court again at a hearing next week.