A TEENAGER has appeared in court accused of fatally stabbing a 14-year-old South Norwood boy on a bus. Appearing at the Old Bailey on Tuesday Roree Cox, who denies murder, insisted knifing victim Kevin Ssali was a "bully". The 18-year-old admitted carrying a knife on to the bus where the fatal stabbing took place – but insisted he had no intention of using it. He said he had picked up the knife from a bush at the back of his friend's house. Giving evidence through an intermediary he added: "I put it in my shoe because I did not want to use it. I had it so if I got attacked I could use it to scare people away." Asked by prosecutor Sean Larkin if he would hope to scare people by showing them the knife, New Cross resident Cox replied: "Yes." Mr Larkin asked Cox: "If you stab somebody in the heart, do you know you might kill them?" Cox replied: "No." The teenager was then asked: "What do you think would happen if you stabbed them in the heart?" Cox replied: "I don't know." Jurors were shown CCTV footage of Cox entering the bus on the night of the incident, September 15 last year, and the teenager admitted getting the knife out of his shoe and carrying it on to the bus. Asked what he was holding in his hands the defendant said: "A knife in my right hand and a shoe in my left hand." Jurors had heard there was a history of rivalry between Kevin Ssali and Cox's family. Cox said: "When I was at college my little sister was being threatened over the phone and they were saying they knew what college I go to and could come get me. I went back to college when I got back from Jamaica and they told me it was not safe. "Problems started with Kevin around Easter – my older brother was labelled a snitch because he had told the police about some people and that is when trouble escalated." He went on to recount to the court instances in which Kevin had attacked and threatened him, including an incident in which the 14-year-old broke his nose and another when he threatened him with a three-inch blade. Asked how he felt about Kevin before the stabbing on the bus, Cox replied: "He's a boy I thought went round bullying people, trying to intimidate people. It just wasn't friendly." The court heard Kevin tried to chase his attacker down the stairs of the bus before collapsing at a stop in Burnt Ash Road, Lee, at about 9.45pm. Kevin had been reported as missing from his home in Whitworth Road weeks before he died. The trial continues.
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