Tearful convict 'so sorry' to mother of Chesterfield man who was stabbed to death

Flowers left at Thorntree Court after Darren Broadbent's death.
Flowers left at Thorntree Court after Darren Broadbent's death.
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The woman behind a bungled robbery which led to the death of a Chesterfield man has told how she got him involved in her scheme during a ‘mad moment’ after taking drugs.

Darren Broadbent, 35, was found dead at a flat in Thorntree Court, Grangewood, on August 1, 2016, with a stab wound to his chest.

Police at Thorntree Court after Darren Broadbent's death.

Police at Thorntree Court after Darren Broadbent's death.

An inquest into Mr Broadbent’s death is taking place at Chesterfield coroners’ court this week.

Coroner Kathryn Hayes said she will use the inquest to try and establish who stabbed him and why - and whether it was lawful or not.

On Monday, the inquest heard how Mr Broadbent, of Grindlow Avenue, Boythorpe, died after attempting to rob two young men from Sheffield.

The court was told the intended robbery was the brainchild of Mr Broadbent’s friend, Susan Shaw. She is currently serving a six-year prison sentence for conspiracy to commit robbery.

Susan Shaw.

Susan Shaw.

Giving evidence, Shaw - who who brought from Askham Grange women’s prison to the court - said she was at her friend’s flat at Thorntree Court on July 31, 2016, when the two Sheffield males - Jaiden Browne-Evans, who was 18 at the time, and a teenager who cannot be identified because of his age and will be referred to as Boy A - came to the property.

Shaw described the two males as ‘drug dealers’ and said she bought heroin and crack cocaine from them.

She explained: “I took the drugs straight away and went into the bedroom.

“They (the two males) had about £800 to £1,000 on them.

“I owed him (Darren) £50 - I wasn’t able to repay it.

“I had a mad moment and text Darren.

“I said ‘there’s two guys in the flat with £800 to £1,000, have you got someone?’

“I thought he might come to rob them.

“I thought he might come with a friend - I didn’t expect what happened to happen.”

She told the inquest that on the morning of August 1, 2016, she heard a ‘bang’ at the front door.

She continued: “I ran into the living room - Boy A and Jaiden were still there.

“They knew it was someone trying to break in so they tried to barricade themselves into the living room and I went back into the bedroom.

“I knew it was Darren - I should have stopped him.

“I could hear shouting - I can remember Darren saying ‘give me your money’.

“After a while I heard one of them say ‘have that - you’re not so hard now, are you?’”

Shaw cried as she told how she subsequently found Mr Broadbent’s body on the settee before emergency services were alerted.

She said she did not stab Mr Broadbent, did not see who stabbed him, was not in the room when he was stabbed and did not see Boy A or Mr Browne-Evans leaving the flat with a knife in their hands.

Shaw said ‘I’m so sorry’ to Mr Broadbent’s mother as she left the court.

Giving evidence, Boy A said he was not a drug dealer and had about £20 with him when he was at the flat.

He added that he fell asleep at the property and continued: “A loud bang woke me up - I didn’t know what it was.

“I went to the front door of the flat - I wasn’t sure what was happening.

“I walked into the lounge and barricaded the door - we were frightened.

“He broke through the door and then he climbed through.

“I couldn’t see his face - he was covered.

“He had a golf club in his hand and some sort of spray.

“I asked him who he was and he didn’t answer.

“He demanded money and drugs - I said ‘I haven’t got anything’.

“I remember him swinging a golf club at me and that’s it.

“I don’t recall any knives being brought into anything.”

Boy A said he and Mr Browne-Evans fled the flat frightened, leaving Mr Broadbent alive and shouting at Shaw.

The court heard Boy A originally told his mother he had stabbed someone.

However, he told the inquest that ‘wasn’t the truth’ and insisted: “I didn’t stab anybody.”

He added he did not see who stabbed Mr Broadbent.

Dr Frances Hollingbury, a Home Office pathologist, confirmed Mr Broadbent died of a stab wound to his chest.

Toxicology tests revealed he also had a ‘grossly elevated level of amphetamine’ in his system, Dr Hollingbury added.

The inquest will continue on Tuesday with Mr Browne-Evans due to give evidence.

Boy A and Mr Browne-Evans were initially charged with murdering Mr Broadbent - but the Crown Prosecution Service later said convictions were not realistic and the charges against them were dropped.