Killing of Daniel Lavender: Trial of brother Brandon begins over Aylesbury sibling murder

A teenage father killed his brother with a kitchen knife after growing frustrated about a loud argument he was having with his girlfriend, a court heard today (Monday).
Court news. NNL-170524-154443005Court news. NNL-170524-154443005
Court news. NNL-170524-154443005

The opening of a trial at Reading Crown Court heard that Brandon Lavender was staying in his mother’s house along with his girlfriend and his young son from a previous relationship.

Lavender’s older brother, Daniel, was downstairs in the family living room having an argument with his girlfriend, which disturbed the defendant, his girlfriend and the young child.

The hearing heard that the 18-year-old came downstairs to make food for his son and told the pair to stop arguing before returning upstairs to the bedroom.

Kim Preston, prosecuting, told jurors when Lavender came down a second time he grabbed a knife from the kitchen and took it to the living room.

“Brandon has come into the living room and there is not assault between the two of them, no fisticuffs, no pushing and shoving,” she said. “Indeed there doesn’t seem to have been any significant heated exchange between them but he has not put down the knife.

“He doesn’t put it down when he goes into the living room, what he does is approach his brother and he is stabbed not once but twice.

“He is stabbed in the upper chest area towards his armpit and a second time in his abdomen.”

The emergency services were called by Daniel’s girlfriend, who did not see the exact moment the stabbing happened, and she told them someone had been stabbed and was bleeding in the house before Lavender took the phone.

Mrs Preston told the court: “He said he had stabbed his brother in the stomach and that there was blood, a lot of blood.

“Immediately the emergency services were galvanised and attended within minutes.

“Brandon Lavender said ‘I had a knife, I was just messing around and I caught him. I stabbed him in the stomach and he’s bleeding quickly. He’s losing consciousness, it was a big knife - a kitchen knife’.”

Paramedics arrived to find Daniel Lavender had a small bit of cloth to try and stem the massive bleeding from the stab wound in his stomach and rushed him to hospital.

The 26-year-old was in surgery for around seven hours but eventually died due to losing 25 units of blood, mainly from his stomach wound which was around 4cm long and eight to 12cm deep.

Mrs Preston said: “The injury to his chest area has not obviously caused damage to any organ up there but is also a significant wound also about 4cm in its length.”

Lavender had been immediately arrested on January 16 at the family home in Brompton Close, Aylesbury, Bucks, which belonged to the boys’ mother.

Lavender, who was dressed in a grey jumper and jeans, denies one count of murder and the teenager wept in the dock as his brother’s death was described.

Mrs Preston told jurors: “What is not in dispute is the fact this defendant caused the death of his brother.

“The dispute for you to resolve is the prosecution say when the defendant acted the way he did, he did so in the full knowledge that he could, and indeed did, cause really serious injury to him that led to his death.

“The defendant on the other hand said he accepts that by using that knife it led to his brother’s death but said that it was an accident, it was not his intention to stab him, and that he did so because he thought he needed to defend himself from an assault that may have been about to happen.”

The trial continues.

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