A TEENAGER has told a jury he played no part in the brutal murder of a Netherton father-of-two, who was stabbed to death in a cannabis raid.

The youth, who is now 17, said he was not even present when Simon Johnson was stabbed four times with a kitchen knife.

The prosecution has alleged the youth and 19-year-old Damilola Johnson are responsible for killing the 41-year-old after they broke into his Cradley Road home.

The youth told Wolverhampton Crown Court that he saw Damilola Johnson - who is not related to the victim - in Sidaway Road, Old Hill, after he had already stolen plants from Mr Johnson's house.

"I thought if I took him to the house and did him a favour I would be respected," he told the jury in evidence.

He explained how the pair got into the house through a downstairs window and began loading cannabis plants into bin bags.

The youth said they had opened the door to one of the bedrooms and found Mr Johnson, who worked as a fitter for Black Country Glazing in Cradley Heath, asleep on his bed.

"I got scared and I ran away," said the youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons, adding that he then heard the sound of a scuffle.

"I didn't react," he said. "I just wanted to get out. I was shook up. It was no longer a burglary because he had woken up. I climbed out of the window as quick as I could."

He then alleged that when Damilola Johnson, of no fixed address, came out of the house there was blood on his clothes and shoes, adding: "I was not there when Simon Johnson was stabbed."

Simon Denison QC, prosecuting, has claimed forensic and fingerprint evidence linked both teenagers to the murder that came after a "trusting" Mr Johnson told a group of teenagers about his cannabis farm.

The revelation led to the teenagers going to the house and taking plants but the last raid carried out by the 17-year-old and Damilola Johnson, resulted in his death.

The trial of the two teenagers, who have both pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr Johnson, is continuing.