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The violent past of Harry Potter actor murder suspect

PUBLISHED: 09:27 27 February 2009 | UPDATED: 16:13 25 August 2010

THE alleged killer of Rob Knox said he was being sarcastic when he said Sweet after hearing of the Harry Potter actor s death.

THE alleged killer of Rob Knox said he was being "sarcastic" when he said 'Sweet' after hearing of the Harry Potter actor's death.

Unemployed Karl Bishop, 21, of Beaver Lodge, Carlton Road, Sidcup, said he had got the knives to 'scare' people after being beaten up twice in two weeks outside the Metro Bar near Sidcup station.

But he said he couldn't remember fatally stabbing Mr Knox, from Swanley, and wounding five of his friends on May 23 last year.

He said: "From what I remember I was swinging, trying to keep people from coming towards me.

"I didn't intend to wound anyone at all but they attacked me.

"There was no other options. They had me surrounded. I couldn't go anywhere if I wanted to."

Bishop said he next remembered being held down in the flowerbed and battered with a piece of wood.

He added: "My intention was to scare people away from me and as they kept running at me the knife was catching them and they kept running into me.

"I was trying to get away."

He said he was relieved when police arrived.

Bishop told the court on Monday that he went to the bar with friends but they were not allowed in by bouncers because it was after 11pm.

He said he then got into a fight with a youth who was staring at him from a car and was then attacked by a group of five people before managing to escape in his friend's car.

Bishop returned home and took two knives from the kitchen drawer, the court heard.

"Two is scarier than one," he added. "I had just been beaten up again, twice in two weeks.

"My assumption was it was the same people. I just wanted to scare who was down there. I wasn't really thinking that straight at the time."

Bishop said he began regretting his decision when he arrived at the bar and decided to get a cab home, adding: "It could have all gone wrong, and it did."

Bishop admitted he shouted abuse at the victim's friends as he was arrested but denied laughing and winking as he left the hospital.

In cross examination, prosecutor Brian Altman QC said: "You want the jury to think you are the victim."

Bishop replied: "I'm not because someone did end up dying but I was attacked."

Asked why he said 'Sweet' when told Robert Knox had died, he replied: "I said it sarcastically."

Bishop is said to have stabbed 16-year-old Andrew Dormer in the chest, Nicky Lee Jones, 20, in the hand, 17-year-old Charlie Grimley in the face and arm, 22-year-old Dean Saunders in the neck and 18-year-old Tom Hopkins in the head.

Mr Knox, who had only just completed filming for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, was stabbed five times and collapsed with a fatal injury to the chest.

Jurors at the Old Bailey had earlier heard that Bishop had been in trouble with police since the age of 14, was kicked out of primary school and sent to a psychologist for anger management as a boy.

After being convicted for stabbing two men in Bromley in 2005, he was released in March 2007 and found some work installing air conditioning units and window cleaning but was unemployed at the time of Mr Knox's murder.

The trial continues.

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