Drug user killed friend with axe 'in self defence', court told
A DRUG user killed his friend with an axe while they were trying to rip copper pipes out of a flat.
Jure Slivnick hit Rajkumar Thaurairajah on the head at least twice with the axe.
He died in hospital six days later and Slivnick was charged with his murder.
The Slovenian-national is also accused of assaulting another friend, Nikolas Lister, possibly with a knife, before he attacked Mr Thaurairajah – known as Raj – in August last year.
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John Pini, prosecuting at Nottingham Crown Court, said: "There's no dispute here. It's agreed on all sides, that this defendant did indeed strike Raj with the axe, at least twice to the top of his head, and did indeed cause the injury that led directly to his death.
"The defendant says Raj attacked him with a knife and so in using the axe on Raj, the defendant was doing no more than was reasonable in lawful self-defence.
"The prosecution say the defendant wasn't attacked by Raj and this defendant was the aggressor."
The trio planned to take copper piping from a ground-floor flat in Waterloo Road, Hyson Green, to sell and Slivnick arrived ahead of the other two to prepare.
Mr Thaurairajah and Mr Lister turned up to find Slivnick pacing about, with water gushing out of pipes and repeatedly saying it would not stop, the court heard.
Former Big Issue seller Mr Lister said he bent a pipe over with pliers to stop water coming out and went to look in an airing cupboard to find a stopcock.
As he peered into the tank, he felt a flash and pain in his head.
"He'd been struck and he shouted out," Mr Pini said. "It's the prosecution case he was struck by this defendant [Slivnick] using some sort of implement, very likely a knife."
The court heard that Mr Lister stood up and saw Mr Thaurairajah being pinned against a wall. Slivnick was allegedly hitting him and making downward chopping motions.
"I thought he was putting in everything he had in him to do as much damage as he could," Mr Lister said.
He said he pulled the men apart and claimed Slivnick pulled out a knife and came at him. He turned and ran down the hallway and out of an open ground-floor window, with Slivnick chasing him with the knife. Mr Lister said he told a man outside that his mate had been attacked with an axe, before going back to the window and shouting to his friend.
"Jure came to the window and had blood on his arms and blood splatters on his face," Mr Lister said. "I said, 'calm down'."
He said Slivnick told him Mr Thaurairajah, 46, was "OK" and he was "just unconscious", then went back in. Slivnick, he alleged, then came out of the property and walked over to a wall "as if nothing had happened".
Mr Thaurairajah was found face-down on a plastic sheet, his head covered in blood. Mr Pini said: "Raj was conscious and was trying to speak but he couldn't. He was thrashing his arms about."
Slivnick, 31, of Rawson Street, Radford, denies murder and assault causing actual bodily harm.
The trial continues.