Teenager stabbed 17-year-old boy to death on dance floor at party, court hears

A teenager allegedly murdered a 17-year-old boy in a fight on a crowded dance floor at a party, a court has heard.

Charlie Cosser died in hospital two days after he was stabbed three times in the chest at an outdoor event attended by more than 100 people at Balmohano Farmhouse in the West Sussex village of Warnham on July 23 last year.

Video footage played to jurors at Brighton Crown Court showed revellers just before midnight dancing to Toxic by Britney Spears under disco lights in a marquee.

A fight is then visible in the background with punches being thrown and the recording shortly ends.

Opening the case on Monday, prosecutor Alan Gardner KC said the defendant, who was 16 at the time, used a knife to stab Charlie after the defendant and his friends had been asked to leave because of complaints from a girl at the party.

The prosecutor said it appears this request triggered the “sudden outbreak of violence in a very crowded area”.

Mr Gardner said: “In the darkness and noise of a crowded dance floor his use of the knife and blows of the knife went unnoticed by those in the vicinity.

“The defendant stabbed Charlie Cosser with that knife as they came together on the dancefloor.

“The knife came into contact with Charlie more than once, three times in fact, but it was the stab wound to the central area of his chest which proved to be the fatal injury.”

Mr Gardner said the defendant, who had shared a bottle of vodka with a friend, took the knife to the party and had been heard speaking earlier about “beating the shit” out of another party goer.

A teenage girl at the party heard him say “get the shank” which she believed to be a reference to a knife, the prosecution said.

While the witness did not see a knife, the prosecution added the reference is “significant”.

After the fight between Charlie, the defendant and two other boys, witnesses later described seeing Charlie lying on the grass and first believed he was intoxicated.

But later his friend saw his T-shirt was bloodstained and after lifting it up saw wounds and another friend called an ambulance.

The prosecution said others saw the defendant’s hands and jogging bottoms were covered in blood.

The court heard one boy said he “clearly heard” the 17-year-old from Chessington say “I’ve stabbed someone” six or seven times.

The prosecution said Charlie was still conscious when police arrived at 12.30am and was able to tell them his name, address and date of birth.

He suffered a cardiac arrest on the way to hospital, with internal bleeding caused by a cut to his aorta, the main artery from the heart.

The teenager, from Milford, Surrey, died on July 25.

The defendant, who cannot be named for legal reasons due to his age, denies murdering Charlie and having a bladed article or point.

The trial continues.