A “VIOLENT tussle” between rival drug dealers ended up with both men falling on top of a woman and one of the pair slumped on the ground, a murder trial heard today.

The trial of murder accused Zandrae Smith continued at Winchester Crown Court today as a number of eyewitnesses to the fatal incident involving Tommy Ferris, from London, described how the situation on April 13 unfolded.

Jurors were told how an alley off Smannell Road was used as a place to buy drugs that night, and users witnessed tensions rise between Mr Ferris, 28, and Mr Smith, now 21, as the Londoner “aggressively” confronted the defendant, who was said to be dealing on Mr Ferris’s patch.

Eyewitness Sharon James said: “I was walking off and I heard this commotion, this guy came from nowhere [at the] top of the alley, it was quite dark. He started shouting at the guy who I just bought drugs from.

“I ran because I got scared. I just got scared as I didn’t know if they were going to come after me so I ran to my car.”

Witness Susanna Fern told the court Mr Ferris walked straight to the dealer, known to be the defendant, and said ‘You know you shouldn’t be down here, you were told. Give me everything you have got. Empty your pockets and give me what you have got.’

Ms Fern added the defendant, who she described as a “slim black lad”, was then apologising to Mr Ferris, saying ‘I won’t come down here again just take it, just take it.’

Another witness described hearing Mr Ferris say to Mr Smith ‘I’ll cut you on your cheek’ and that the ‘black man looked petrified’.

After the initial confrontation between the pair, Mr Smith and Mr Ferris walked off to opposite ends of the alleyway, before the 21-year-old returned “jogging” towards Mr Ferris, known to drug users as Jason.

Ms Fern said: “The next thing I knew I heard footsteps coming really, really quickly. Flash past me, it was the dealer again. He ran up behind Jason and jumped on him from behind.

“They started fumbling and gripping each other and fighting back and forth, hitting each side of the alley.

“They were heading towards me.

“I was trying to avoid them. Next thing I know they both landed on top of me.

“By the time I managed to get up, the dealer was running away and Jason was lying on the floor.”

When asked by defence barrister Ali Bajwa whether she believed the clash to be a 'violent tussle', she agreed with the notion.

Ms Fern’s next-door neighbour at the time, Louise Fuller, was accompanying Ms Fern in the alley, which was described to have dim lighting.

Miss Fuller recalled to the court Mr Smith “putting something in his [Mr Ferris’] back” in the action of an overarm-style punch.

Mr Ferris had done nothing but walk away before the first blow, she told the court.

She added: “I don’t know whether he hit him or stabbed him at this point.

“[The defendant] wanted his iPhone back, ‘just give me my phone back, just give me my phone back’. That was all he was angry about was the phone.”

READ: First day of Smannell Road alleyway murder trial

Miss Fuller told the court the fight lasted about five to eight minutes ending with Mr Ferris being pushed up against a fence before he slumped to the floor.

As first responders attended the scene and police officer Katie White began trying to revive Mr Ferris, witnesses described the defendant return to the scene trying to rummage through his rival’s pockets before being told not to by the officer.

Miss Fuller then said Mr Smith, of Octavia Court, Bradford, put his hands on her shoulders and shook her asking her to get his phone back, but she didn’t and he left “straight away”.

Mr Smith denies the murder charge, saying he was acting in self-defence.

Matthew Reed, who was waiting for Ms Fern and Miss Fuller in a car parked at Rimini Road, said the whole episode of arriving at the scene to buy drugs at around midnight, to leaving after helping the emergency services with Mr Ferris, lasted about one hour.

The trial continues.