Weapons recovered from Sheffield ‘drug den’

Murder victim Damian Taff
Murder victim Damian Taff
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A LOCK knife and a screwdriver believed to have been used to murder a young Sheffield dad were recovered from the city drugs den where he bought his crack cocaine, a court heard.

Scenes of crime officers assisting in the investigation into the murder of Damian Taff, aged 29, told Sheffield Crown Court they recovered the items from 64a Swanbourne Road, Sheffield Lane Top.

The prosecution say the semi-detached house where the weapons were found was a drugs den open to addicts 24-hours-a-day and protected by reinforced doors and CCTV.

Bryan Cox QC, prosecuting, said dad-of-three Mr Taff was stabbed through the heart by dealers Benjamin Grant and Ryan Wood after he had mugged a heroin user for his drugs outside the property. He had visited earlier that evening to buy crack cocaine.

Elizabeth Bartrop, from CSI South Yorkshire Police, identified a silver lock knife she had found in the kitchen.

Scenes of crime officer Martin Davidson said he recovered a red and black handled screwdriver from the sideboard in an outbuilding allegedly converted to sell Class A drugs.

Intelligence analyst Lee Drake looked at mobile phone calls and text messages to and from the defendants’ mobiles in the hours leading up to and following the murder in the early hours of September 1 2010.

Benjamin Grant, aged 31, of Follett Road, Shiregreen and Ryan Paul Wood, 29, of Liberty Place, Stannington, both deny murder and 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 by providing Grant with an false alibi.

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

The trial continues.