A MAN accused of murdering Forest Town father Jonathan Turner during a town centre attack told a court today (Thursday) he was sorry for what he had done.
Andrej Novakov and two other eastern European men are facing murder charges after an assault on Mr Turner (27) outside the Vibe, on Stockwell Gate, Mansfield, on 7th May last year.
Witnesses have told the trial Mr Turner was heard by onlookers to make a racist comment to the three.
Bagdas Kilic (22), of Westfield Lane, Mansfield, Vjaceslavs Solovjovs (23), of Terrace Road, Mansfield, and Novakov (21), of Kipling Street, Mansfield, all deny murder.
Lithuanian-born Novakov told Nottingham Crown Court he felt ‘horrible’ about what had happened.
He added: “I have let my family down and I am very sorry to the family that he (Mr Turner) died. I never thought he would die.”
Brick-laying student Novakov told Robert Fortune QC, defending, how he had been walking home after a night out in Mansfield and was talking to a friend outside the Vibe when the fight started.
He admitted aiming a kick at Mr Turner as he was being chased across Stockwell Gate by Kilic, but said he could not remember if it connected with the young father or not.
He said: “I did not intend to cause him any serious harm or kill him.”
Said Mr Fortune: “You have never been in trouble before and yet you got involved – what were you thinking?”
“I was a stupid boy,” he said. “I had too much to drink and lost control of myself.”
Novakov said he did not see the final kick before Mr Turner collapsed unconscious but that he saw Solovjovs running toward him and heard a noise like a ‘clap’.
Stuart Rafferty QC, defending Solovjovs and cross-examining Novakov, said: “You did not see any kick connect with Mr Turner and with regard to the noise presumably there was a lot of noise in the street at the time – you could not say it was anything to do with Mr Solovjovs.”
The court also heard evidence from Kilic who was told he had been showing off in front of his friend the night of the assault and there was no need for him to fight at all.
Kilic had said in his defence he attacked Mr Turner (27) after coming to the end of his tether following years of racial abuse.
But prosecutor Maureen Baker QC told Nottingham Crown Court the Turkish national had simply been ‘trying to be the big man’ in front of his co-accused Solovjovs – who she described as a martial arts expert.
Ms Baker accused Kilic of making up an incident on Market Place in his court evidence in which a man eating chips had asked him and his friends why they did not speak English.
The court was told how Kilic submitted a defence statement in September with details of the incident which had changed since his court appearance.
Ms Baker said Kilic had changed the location of the incident from the Market Place to outside Barclays Bank, on Stockwell Gate, after realising that was the only area where there was a big enough gap in the CCTV footage of the group.
She said: “Mr Kilic, you appear to have invented this whole incident as part of your plan to hoodwink this jury that in the face of Jonathan Turner’s racist remarks you acted at the end of your tether so as not to appear to be guilty of murder.”
Shaun Smith QC, defending, said: “It had been suggested you simply made up a racist incident in the Market Square – is that what you did?”
“I definitely did not make it up,” Kilic said. “I decided to tell the police so they could investigate it.”
The trial continues.