A DRIVER who took a gang of “armed killers” to a flat had no idea what they were planning, a court heard.

Courtney Valentine-Brown, 36, died after four people allegedly attacked him by stabbing him through his femoral artery.

Southend Standard:

All four deny murder.

Scott Mclaughlin, speaking from the witness box at Basildon Crown Court today, said: “Ian Slater asked me for a lift to go and collect some bits and bobs, such as clothes from his girlfriend’s flat

I got him from his home in Leigh and it was about 30 minutes to his girlfriend’s house.

“There was no conversation about what would be happening that night. I also didn’t expect to collect anyone else that night. We went to Kelly King’s house to collect two of Ian’s mates.

“I didn’t know them. I didn’t know either or why we were collecting them.

“We went to Kelly King’s flat and they all get out of my car. I parked my car in North Road.” It is alleged an attempt was made to force Mr Valentine-Brown to leave the Roots Hall Drive flat he rented from Kelly King using force.

Mr McLaughlin added: “They didn’t have anything with them when they came out of the flat and I didn’t ask why. On the way back the atmosphere in the car was different, there was a bad vibe and we all sat in silence.

“I them dropped Ian’s mates off and then got my girlfriend and dropped off Ian and Kelly and went home.

“I then saw Ian a few days later and he asked me to get some cash out for him. He didn’t seem his usual self. I found out about the death of Courtney by a friend on the internet.” Mr Valentine Brown was stabbed and died on February 21.

Kelly King, 30, of Howards Close, Westcliff, Ian Slater, 49, of Wayletts, Leigh, Stuart Pearson, 43, of Satanita Road, Westcliff and Alex Stephens, 36, of Hamlet Court Road in Westcliff, have all been charged with murder. The trial continues.