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Girl who attended end-of-term party in grounds of £1.5m farmhouse where Charlie Cosser, 17, was stabbed to death tells court she heard one of her friends say ‘I have a knife with me’


A girl who attended a party on the grounds of a farmhouse where Charlie Cosser was stabbed to death tells court she heard one of her friends say ‘I have a knife with me’.

The guest, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told a court she heard one of her friends talking about having a blade moments before the 17-year-old boy was fatally stabbed at the summer rave. 

She told a jury in Brighton one of the boys she heard discussing the knife was the 17-year-old in the dock.

The defendant, who also  cannot be named for legal reasons, denies murdering  Charlie at the party in July last year.

The girl said despite the loud music, she heard the defendant and another boy talking about having a knife with them, with the first saying: ‘I have a knife with me’.

‘It pricked my ears because it’s a very harsh sentence to hear,’ the girl said.

Minutes later she saw Charlie lying on the ground covered in blood.

Charlie Cosser was only 17 when he was stabbed in a fight on the dance floor  at a  rave

Charlie Cosser was only 17 when he was stabbed in a fight on the dance floor  at a  rave

Visibly upset, the girl told the Crown Court in Brighton: ‘I said to the man standing next to him that he needed to hold his wounds down.’

The court heard Charlie – known as Cheeks – was stabbed during an eruption of violence on the dance floor at the party in the grounds of Balmohano Farmhouse at Warnham near Horsham in Sussex.

Other guests described a brawl involving between four and five boys, seconds before midnight on July 23.

Charlie was stabbed three times and died three days later in hospital at Brighton.

Witnesses said at least four boys were involved in the brawl – described as an eruption of violence – after rumours spread around the party about one of the guests.

Witnesses told the jury guests were aware of rumours the defendant had been inappropriate with a young girl at the party.

The court heard violence started after Charlie asked the defendant to leave.

A friend of the defendant said he saw him share a bottle of vodka with another boy before going to the party.

He described his friend as being tipsy before they arrived at the rural farmhouse.

The friend saw Charlie being dragged out of the tent. He  said: ‘I saw somebody being dragged out of the marquee. I didn’t know him.

The incident happened at party in the grounds of a £1.5million farmhouse (pictured)

The incident happened at party in the grounds of a £1.5million farmhouse (pictured)

‘I saw two people dragging him. I could see they had laid him down on the grass and was helping him.’

The friend said he could see no signs of life from the boy being dragged away from the party.

‘I was concerned. They laid him down and there was blood all over his stomach.

‘I just saw blood all over him,’ the friend said.

Another guest, Harriet West told the jury she saw a boy on the ground after guests were asked to leave the party marquee.

Ms West said she looked at her phone at 0018 on July 23 after hearing an announcement saying there had been an incident and police were on their way.

‘We knew there were police coming and I had to leave by the road.

‘There was the man in the hi-vis and the boy on the floor.

‘I saw he didn’t have a T-shirt on and he had blood all over his chest. I just walked away instantly,’ she said.

The party at Balmohano Farmhouse in Warnham, near Horsham on July 22 last year was hosted by the Balfour triplets.

Another guest described how she filmed the moment Charlie was fatally injured.

Megan Roberts said she drove herself to the party after being invited by one of the hosts through a WhatsApp group called Balfest.

Ms Roberts said she got out her phone to film her friends dancing to the Britney Spears song Toxic.

‘It was dark, cold and raining when I got there. I had work the next day, so I wasn’t planning on staying late.

‘We were aware there were a lot of very young people there. I liked the song that was playing, so I took my phone out.

‘I had no idea what I was about to catch on film.’

The jury were again shown her mobile phone clip of the violence on the dance floor at the end-of-term party in the grounds of the £1.5m Balmohano Farmhouse on July 22 last year.

‘I was just filming my friendship group I was filming as I was moving round, you can see my friend moving away a bit and then you can hear me saying Oh.

‘Then my phone moves down because I was paying more attention in real life,’ she said.

‘By the time I’d stopped filming, there was one person on top of another person, like strangling him a lot.

‘They were moving around a lot. I was trying to make sure my friends were safe.’

Ms Roberts said there were several people fighting.

‘My friend and at least three other people jumped in and pulled him off him.

Ms Roberts said after the fight ended the party carried on for no more than ten minutes before her friend announced over the PA there had been an incident and police had been called.

As she was organising her friends to leave in her car, Ms Roberts said she could see somebody laying in the grass near the marquee.

‘There was clearly someone lying on the floor. It was very quick, I was just trying to get my friends out of there.

‘It was very chaotic. I’d been told something had happened, but I didn’t really believe something like that could have happened.’

Wearing a blue shirt and glasses, the 17-year-old Defendant from Chesington was supported on the second day of his trial by his father.

He was only 16-years-old when he attended the end-of-term party at the £1.5 Balmohano Farmhouse at Warnham in rural Sussex.

The jury in Brighton heard at least 100 people attended the party hosted by the Balfour triplets to celebrate the end of term.

The party goers crowded under a marquee in the grounds of the farmhouse near Horsham as summer rain lashed down.

Trouble started when a girl at the party complained about the defendant and said he had tried to touch her up, Mr Gardner said.

The girl said the defendant was ‘creeping her out’, he said.

Two fights started after Charlie and his friend approached the defendant and asked him to leave.

‘Two separate fights erupted on the dance floor,’ Mr Gardner said.

‘It is on that brief altercation on the dance floor the prosecution say the defendant used the knife he was carrying to stab Charlie Cosser in the chest.

‘In the darkness and noise of a crowded dance floor his use of the knife and the knife blows went unnoticed,’ Mr Gardner said.

The teenage defendant gave no comment interview and the court heard the knife used to stab Charlie Cosser has never been found.

Charlie, known as Cheeks, Cosser was described as caring and loving by his devastated parents.

The 17-year-old, from Milford in Surrey, died in hospital on Tuesday, July 25, last year.

The teenage defendant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, denies murder.

The trial at Lewes Crown Court in Brighton continues.



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