New Cross teen accused of Kevin Ssali murder in Lee claims victim was 'a bully'

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A NEW Cross teen accused of stabbing 14 year-old schoolboy Kevin Ssali to death on a double decker bus in Lee told the Old Bailey the victim was a "bully" yesterday (December 10).

Roree Cox, 18, allegedly knifed Kevin Ssali in the heart for making a comment about his brother's woolly hat and designer watch.

Jurors have heard there was a history of rivalry between the pair because they came from different areas.

Kevin had confided in a friend he had been beaten up by Cox and other members of the Red Brick gang.

But Cox, giving evidence with the help of an intermediary, claimed he had been attacked by Kevin on at least six occasions in the months before the alleged murder.

He said the first time he met Kevin, the 14 year-old punched him in the face and broke his nose.

Kevin also threatened to "wet him up" - slang for stab him, the court heard.

Last June, Kevin spat on his jacket after giving his friends a dirty look, jurors heard.

Cox explained: "He said ''What are you looking at?''

"I said "Nothing, **** ain't labelled" and carried on walking.

"Kevin says, "don't give attitude." He took off his belt and swung for my head. I grabbed him and we ended on the floor. We started fighting."

A few weeks later Kevin and his group cornered him near a cemetery and tried to hit him with a belt, jurors heard.

Cox claimed that Kevin also tried to stab him with a sharp object with a three-inch blade.

He said: "The rest of the group tried to kick me on the floor and dragged me to the bus stop, they were kicking and stamping on me."

Asked how he felt about Kevin, Cox replied: "He's a boy I thought went round bullying people, trying to intimidate people. It just wasn't friendly."

The court has heard how Kevin tried to chase his attacker down the stairs of the bus before collapsing at a stop in Burnt Ash Road at around 9.45pm on September  15 last year.

Kevin had been reported as missing from his home in Whitworth Road, South Norwood, at the time of the incident, the court heard.

Cox, of Wardalls Grove, New Cross, denies murder.

The trial continues.


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