A HOCKLEY man “is acting out of misguided loyalty” to protect his brother from claims he threatened a cabbie with a hammer, a court heard.

The trial into two Hockley brothers continued with Callum Murphy taking to the witness box at Basildon Crown Court.

Callum, 25, along with his brother Craig, 31, both of Selbourne Road, Hockley, are alleged to have committed affray by yelling abuse at a taxi driver, threatening him with a hammer and then smashing up his taxi in a row over a fare being paid upfront.

The brothers, along with Jordan Dean, 32, of Laburnam Walk, Hornchurch, deny the offence.

Callum Murphy was grilled by prosecuting barrister Gabrielle McAvock over his account of the night, on October 24, 2018.

The jury previously heard from Murphy that he said he only had £10 on him at the time, and that he had asked the driver to drop them at a cash point.

Ms McAvock said: “There were a number of cash machines on the High Street so you could have walked to them.”

Murphy replied: “I have never had troubles with cabs before, they normally say could we pay by card or can you drop us off at a cash point and we’ll take out the rest of the money.”

Ms McAvock replied: “That wasn’t what was said, what was said was ‘just drive’.”

Murphy said: “That’s not what we said.”

Ms McAvock said: “Why not give the address to where you were going specifically? Were you going to do a runner from the taxi because you did not have the money.” Murphy denied this.

The discussion moved onto the alleged incident where Craig Murphy, in the passenger seat, is said to have produced a hammer and grabbed the taxi driver.

Ms McAvock said: “Did you see your brother grab the taxi driver by the jawline with his left hand?”Murphy denied this.

Ms McAvock said: “That was happening right in front of you.”

Murphy said: “That wasn’t right in front of me.”

Ms McAvock said: “Are you just trying to protect your brother out of misguided loyalty?”Murphy replied “no”.

When questioned on whether there was an argument, Murphy said it was just “a hiccup” but none of the men threatened the driver.

The trial continues.