A MAN caught carrying a knife in Southend told the court he took it from another man who “lunged at him” after he asked for directions.

Anthony Muranga, 29, is standing trial at Basildon Crown Court charged with having a weapon in a public place following an incident in Southend.

Giving evidence on the dock, Muranga claimed he took the 3.5inch vegetable knife from a man in the Southend Cliff Gardens on June 12 last year.

He then fled before being stopped and arrested by police in Alexandra Street, Southend.

Yesterday, he told the jury that he disarmed the man who brandished the weapon after Muranga asked a group of three men for directions.


He said: “I disarmed him and he pretended to take a lunge at me twice as a joke, the second time I panicked and I grabbed his wrist and he dropped the knife.

“I laughed nervously and he was very immature.

“They started giving me abuse and then another man got out a very very big knife.

“I thought things were going to escalate and I was worried I was going to get hurt.

“I jumped over some railings and ran down the steep cliffs and hit my head at the bottom on a rock of boulder and I still had the knife.”

He told the court his head was bleeding heavily and he walked along the seafront after seeing the men chasing him down the cliffs.

The jury was told he was shouting “come on then” at the men on the seafront and stopped traffic while crossing the road.

He added that his head was bleeding heavily and he washed it in the seafront fountains.

He also said he started to feel quite emotional.

Muranga, of Audley Court London, added: “I was calling his bluff and I didn’t know them I was just asking for directions and I defused and changed the situation. I didn’t call the police as I knew others had done.

“I forgot I had the knife at first when I was stopped by the police.

“I answered no comment to the questions from the police as I wanted to get out of the police station as soon as possible.

I did not bring the knife.”

The trial continues