A RAGING drug dealer nicknamed Ace stabbed the man whose home he had taken over as a drugs den so hard he split the knife’s blade, a court was told.

The attack, just three days before Christmas last year, came after the flat’s occupant Anthony Howells told London crack cocaine and heroin dealer Kelmoy Brown to leave the house. Police called to the stabbing found Brown gone, but the 10 inch blade left lying on the bedsit floor.

A Bristol Crown Court jury yesterday heard the incident had left 35-year-old Mr Howells with seven stab wounds and no feeling down his left leg. Brown, 24, from London, denies attempted murder and wounding with intent.

Opening the prosecution case, Simon Jones told jurors: “We say these are seven stab wounds some of which are inflicted on [Howells] with his back to [Brown] and on the ground. We say self defence has no credible case in this case. And we say in those moments of anger this is a man intent on killing.”

Jurors heard Brown, known to Mr Howells only by his street name “Ace”, was working for a London-based County Lines drugs gang whose Swindon dealing line was nicknamed Lucky – also the street name of the gang’s leader.

He had moved into the Aylesbury Street flat two to three weeks before the stabbing, with Mr Howells’ drug-addicted girlfriend Kerry Duggan peddling heroin and crack on Brown’s behalf.

Mr Howells had grown increasingly irritated by the way the London man appeared to be treating the flat as his own. In a police interview, video from which was played to jurors, Mr Howells said Brown was “taking the p**s” and talking down to Miss Duggan: “I knew he was nasty. I tried telling Kerry about it, but she wouldn’t have it.”

On Sunday, December 23, he had had enough. Miss Duggan and her friend, Gemma O’Malley, had left to sell drugs when Mr Howells squared up to Brown, telling him to “do one” and leave.

Mr Jones, prosecuting, said: “The defendant’s response was to take out a large knife which he habitually carried. There is some evidence Mr Howells also had a knife but it was much smaller.

“After a standoff between the two, the defendant lunged at Mr Howells and stabbed him repeatedly. He used such force the blade became detached from the handle.

“The defendant left that flat without a scratch on him.”

The victim was stabbed seven times with a 10 inch blade, three times in the chest, in the neck, buttock and thigh.

“What Mr Howells recalls is two jabs with the knife, then seeing Kerry leaning over him and the next thing he recalls is waking up in the hospital,” Mr Jones said. “He has very little other recollection and can’t say how the further five stab wounds were inflicted.”

Brown was said to have fled to a house on County Road that he had previously used as a base. He was picked up almost immediately by police officers who had made a chance routine visit to the house. Officers found £2,000 in cash in Brown’s bag and two knives. There were 64 wraps of crack cocaine and heroin on a table in the Aylesbury Street flat.

Brown admitted two counts of being concerned in the supply of crack cocaine and heroin and three counts of possession of a knife. The trial continues.