Teen ‘thought stabbing victim had sexually assaulted his mum’

A teenager claimed he accidentally stabbed a family friend he believed had sexually assaulted his mum.

Trene Colecozy-Rogers said he heard his mum screaming then saw her come out of a bedroom at a party.

The 18-year-old told a jury he found Dre Estridge, 26, pulling up his shorts and asked him what happened.

He said this led to the 26-year-old attacking him, before they both reached for a knife, but he got it first.

And he today claimed that Dre then lunged at him, when his friend was unintentionally stabbed in the chest.

Colecozy-Rogers, who was then 17, denies Dre’s murder and manslaughter at a memorial party at the Estridge family home in Oakham Street, Dingle, at around 6am on Friday, June 26 this year.

Liverpool Crown Court has heard he was called to collect his mum Marita Colecozy, 45, and his seven-year-old sister, after his drunken mum attacked other guests.

Jurors were told Colecozy-Rogers has two convictions for robbery in 2018, when in a group of young males in Liverpool city centre.

Alex Langhorn, prosecuting, said: “They approached young men and caused them to hand over cash using intimidation and threats.”

Under questioning by Nina Grahame, QC, defending, Colecozy-Rogers said weapons weren’t used or displayed in these robberies, when he was 15.

The former student mechanic said he lived with his mum – who “can’t handle her drink” – and sister in Stevenson Street, Wavertree.

Dre Estridge

Colecozy-Rogers said he didn’t have any problems with the Estridges, and was friendly with Dre, who was more a friend of his older brother, Darren.

He said: “He was alright like, but he could get angry quite easily. I knew he had problems with people in the past.”

The jury heard In 2014, Dre’s mum Dijiuna Garrett and her three daughters moved into a hostel for 10 months after “verbally abusive” Dre wouldn’t leave their home.

He had convictions for battery against his sister Dannell, then 13, in 2015, and battery and criminal damage against his mum, Dijiuna Garrett, in 2019, which led to a restraining order preventing him attending Oakham Street until 2021.

Colecozy-Rogers said he knew about these incidents and a month or two before the stabbing, Dre spent a week living at his home, with his mum Marita’s permission, because he had nowhere else to stay.

He said on June 26 he was at home with friends Rashan Hamilton, Tariq Shewkat and two girls, “chilling, listening to music and smoking”.

Colecozy-Rogers said he was asked to collect his mum because she was “really drunk” and his sister was upset, so caught a taxi with Mr Hamilton.

He said he was “upset” by his mum’s behaviour, but when they arrived at 5.37am, the taxi drove off before he got his mum, who was being “loud” and bleeding from a cut to the head.

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He said Mr Hamilton waited outside, he tried to call another taxi and left his sister playing on a Nintendo Switch in the living room, while Dre’s sister Demmere took his mum upstairs for a shower to clean and “sober up”.

Colecozy-Rogers said he saw Dre, who was “quite drunk”, smoking a cigarette and inhaling gas from a balloon.

He told the jury Dre seemed “quite angry” and said the parents at the party “just f***ed off and left all the kids”.

Colecozy-Rogers said: “He said he was p***ed off with his own mum because she knew how drunk my mum was and she did nothing about it to get her home.”

He said Dre made an offensive remark about his own nan, but he didn’t respond and went to check on his sister, then heard Dijiuna slamming the front door and telling her son to “f*** off”.

Floral tributes outside a house on Oakham Street.
(Image: Liverpool Echo)

Colecozy-Rogers said he later heard his mum scream “like something was happening to her”, so ran upstairs “as fast as I could”.

The teenager said he saw her coming out of Dre’s brother Denzil’s bedroom.

He said: “She was really upset, her hair was all messy, she was crying, she was gasping…

“She was showing too much cleavage, her clothes were all messy and pulled, like someone had been pulling at them.”

Colecozy-Rogers said he asked what happened but “she couldn’t get her words out”, so he told her to go downstairs.

He said: “As I went into the bedroom, I seen Dre come off the bed, he was coming off the side of his bed, like fixing his shorts.”

Colecozy-Rogers added: “He was pulling them up.”

He said: “As I’ve come in, I said to him ‘what’s going on, why is my mum upset?’ and he said to me ‘what do you think is going on?’

“I then said ‘what do you mean? You’re supposed to be my brothers’ mate’. He replied to me ‘my mum is a slag, all of our mums are slags, I’m not arsed about you or your brother’.”

Ms Grahame asked: “What did you think was happening?”

Colecozy-Rogers said: “It looked like he had some type of sex with my mum, which she didn’t consent to.”

He added: “As far as I knew he was best mates with my brother, like family. Why would you be doing something with my mum?”

The teenager said he was upset but “angry and aggressive” Dre then “came at me”.

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Colecozy-Rogers said Dre “launched at him” and swung a punch, which didn’t connect, and he threw a punch back, which “grazed” Dre, causing him to stagger and fall against a wall.

The teenager said he felt “scared” and saw Dre look around, before Dre “locked” his eyes on a knife on a windowsill.

He said Dre moved to get the knife, but he grabbed it first and said: “Calm the f*** down.”

Colecozy-Rogers said he thought he needed to get the knife because Dre was “obviously going to try and do something to me with it”.

The teenager said he felt “scared for my life” and Dre said: “If you’re gonna stab me, stab me.”

He demonstrated how he waved the knife to warn Dre away, before Dre “lunged” at him.

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Colecozy-Rogers said he was taller, but Dre came off the bed, so was “kind of towering over me a little bit”.

The teenager accepted the knife caused the fatal injury and Ms Grahame asked: “How did that happen?”

He replied: “I can’t say exactly, I just remember he was coming at me.”

“Did you deliberately put the knife into his body?” “No,” he said.

Colecozy-Rogers added: “I don’t know whether he was trying to grab the knife or grab me, but I felt like in some way he was trying to assault me.”

He said Dre staggered back and fell, and he put the knife down his shorts as he ran downstairs because “I didn’t want anybody to know what had happened – I was panicking and scared”.

Police cordon off Oakham Street

Ms Graham asked: “Had you caused the problems that happened in that room?”

Colecozy-Rogers said: “I didn’t cause it, but in a sense I felt like it was my fault as well.”

Asked why, he replied: “Because I had hold of the knife and he was injured.”

Colecozy-Rogers said he didn’t know how badly Dre was hurt, but thought he had to get away, so ran off and he and Mr Hamilton got in a passing taxi.

He said the passenger Wade Maxwell – one of Dre’s brother Denzil’s friends – asked what happened, but he said: “Nothing.”

The teenager said when Denzil rang him and asked if he stabbed Dre, he replied: “What are you talking about?”

Colecozy-Rogers – who said he didn’t discuss it in a phone call with his mum either – said he didn’t know how to explain what happened.

He said he felt “bad”, adding: “Because it was still in a way my fault that he had died. I felt like it was my fault that he had been stabbed.”

Colecozy-Rogers said he turned off his two mobile phones because he didn’t want to speak to anyone.

The teenager said he still had the knife and thought “best to get it away from the scene”, then back home packed some clothes, then “hid the knife”.

He said he cleaned the blade with bleach as “I didn’t want any of my prints on the knife” then hid it in the alley because “I didn’t want anyone to find it – I would have been in trouble, police would have come”.

Colecozy-Rogers said he changed his clothes, then arranged to go to Mr Shewkat’s home, but didn’t tell his friend why.

Stories from Liverpool Crown Court

He said Mr Shewkat received a phone call, then panicked and said “you need to go”, and when he rushed out of his house he forgot a bag containing the clothes he had worn earlier.

Colecozy-Rogers said he caught a taxi with Mr Hamilton to his ex-girlfriend’s house, but she didn’t answer her phone or the door, so after Mr Hamilton left, he went to a park and decided to ring a friend on another phone collected from his home.

He said this person arranged for a man to take him to Sheffield for £150, where he stayed with friends, until he received a call from his brother Marley, who told him Dre was dead, which made him feel “very bad”.

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The teenager said Marley picked him up the following Monday and arranged via his solicitor for him to hand himself in, before he remained silent in a police interview, which he said was based on legal advice.

Colecozy-Rogers said at no point did he intend to harm Dre.

Asked by Ms Grahame what his intention was when he grabbed the knife, he replied: “To make him stay away from me.”

(Proceeding)

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