A defendant in a murder trial told in a statement to the police that he saw Daniel Adger be brutally attacked with a weapon and then drove off, a court heard.

Lee Dowman, 51, of Lytton Road, Grays, is standing trial accused of murder alongside Connall Cocker-Dawkins, 20, of Denmark Road, London, and Zakaria Lahrar, 20, of no fixed abode. All three men deny the charges brought against them.

Reading out a statement written by Mr Dowman was his defence lawyer, Steven Perian QC, who said: “I saw a white man come into my view.

“The black male wearing camouflage struck the white male with a weapon to the back of the head and then to the back of the legs.

“Me and the other male in the car [Connal Cocker-Dawkins] were shocked and we drove off.

“The other male in the car then asked me to turn around and pick up his friend [Zakaria Lahrar].

“I later found out that day that the man died.”

The man who died was Daniel Adger, 34, from South Ockendon and the man who struck him with the weapon was Daniel Boakye, 30, of Western Green, Dagenham, who has already pleaded guilty to the murder.

Defending Dowman, Mr Perian said that he was “not part of the inner drug circle” he was just a “drug user who provided a taxi service” for the circle that Boakye was a part of.

He added: “There is no evidence that Mr Dowman knew Boakye or had been in company with him previously.”

The court previously heard how the three defendants and Boakye worked for a man named Goldie.

Both Cocker-Dawkins and Lahrar were 'drug runners' and Dowman was a driver.

Connall Cocker-Dawkins described Boakye as a "substitute" for Goldie, meaning he would sometimes take on his senior role of supplying the drugs to the runners.

Defending Cocker-Dawkins was Giles Cockings QC, who tried to distance his client from Boakye.

He told the court: "Daniel Boakye went off on a frolic of his own and it's right an proper that he has pleaded guilty to murder.

"But, in the case of Connall Cocker-Dawkins, guilty of drugs - yes - but murder - no."

The trial continues.