Daniel Carrington is on trial for murder after stabbed Ben Egan seven times with a cooking knife. (Supplied: Police)
A man on trial for murdering his former love rival claims he was launching a “pre-emptive” strike when he started stabbing him in a “desperate struggle” in the narrow corridor of a Perth boarding house.
- Daniel Carrington and Ben Egan had a violent history resulting in a fatal attack
- Their relationship was strained by Mr Carrington’s affair with Mr Egan’s partner
- Mr Carrington maintains he never set out to seriously hurt or kill Mr Egan
Daniel James Carrington is alleged to have “ambushed” 38-year-old Ben Egan as he entered the Foundation Housing building in Northbridge in April 2017.
Mr Egan was stabbed at least seven times, including four wounds to his chest.
Mr Carrington then fled the scene before handing himself into police two days later.
The Supreme Court has been told the two men knew each other, but their relationship was strained for a number of reasons, including that Mr Carrington had a brief sexual relationship with Mr Egan’s partner — the mother of his four children.
Prosecutors allege Mr Carrington stabbed Mr Egan with the intention of killing him or causing him a life-threatening injury, but he maintains he acted in self defence.
Accused felt lured into attack
Mr Carrington’s lawyers claimed Mr Egan had a longstanding and visceral hatred for their client, mainly arising out of jealousy over the relationship he had with Mr Egan’s partner.
Giving evidence in his own defence, Mr Carrington testified Mr Egan had previously tried to attack him, including once in broad daylight when he had come of the shadows and lunged at him with a knife.
Forensic police at the Newcastle Street apartment complex where Ben Egan was fatally stabbed. (ABC News)
He said when he saw Mr Egan at the boarding house he believed he had been lured there to be attacked.
“I felt adrenalised straight away,” he said.
“I felt trapped … this was a set up and an imminent serious attack was about to happen to me.
“Ben had a history of co-ordinating and planning attacks on me and I thought I was a sitting duck.”
Mr Carrington, who was “sleeping rough” at the time, said he got a knife he carried for cooking out of his backpack and walked into the corridor where Mr Egan was.
“Me and Ben T-boned into another … I pre-emptively struck Ben with the knife using minimal force.
“It was a rushed and forced decision.”
A tussle followed, part of which was captured by CCTV cameras, in which Mr Egan repeatedly punched Mr Carrington and he continued to stab Mr Egan.
“I thought if I go unconscious he could easily kill me,” Mr Carrington said.
“I was right in the heart of a desperate struggle.”
Mr Carrington testified when he believed Mr Egan was “no longer a threat” to him, he decided to collect his backpack from a room before leaving the complex.
Murder was ‘self defence’
He said at the time he was “satisfied” he had used minimal force but he later realised the “horror” of what had happened when he later saw the amount of blood on his shorts.
“I said shit, I think I’ve mortally wounded this guy,” Mr Carrington said
Mr Carrington said he felt like he was being lured into an attack when he arrived at the Northbridge apartment complex. (ABC News)
Under cross examination from the prosecution, Mr Carrington said he thought he was inflicting only superficial injuries on Mr Egan and maintained he never set out to seriously hurt or kill him.
“I know it may seem crazy, but I just wanted to defend myself … it was all about self defence,” he said.
The jury is expected to retire to consider its verdict later this week.