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Swansea man accused of murdering his older brother tells court it was self-defence

22 Feb 2024 3 minute read
Swansea Crown Court. Photo via Google

A man accused of murdering his older brother has insisted it was self-defence, a court has heard.

Darren Steel, 39, is accused of killing his sibling Martin, at the latter’s house in Hill View Crescent, Swansea last year.

Martin’s body was later found by their mother, slumped in a chair, covered in blood, Swansea Crown Court heard.

Steel also denies taping another man to a chair and repeatedly beating him in the days previously.

However, he admitted for the first time in court on Thursday that he had assaulted his former partner, Dawn Begley, having pursued her with a hammer and thrown her to the ground on the day of his brother’s death.


Steel, from Morriston in Swansea, insists the fight that led to his brother’s death was in self-defence and he did not mean to kill him.

Steel, who cried as he spoke in the dock, said he is a drug addict, taking crack cocaine, Xanax, Valium and heroin.

He told the court that on the day of his brother’s death he and his former partner, Ms Begley, had fought over him using heroin – which she had kept in her purse and refused to give him – leading to a “tug of war” between the two.

He claims his brother then appeared behind him and hit him twice in the face.

Steel claims during the fight Martin held a drill bit in his hand, which he feared his brother would use to stab him. This led to him punching Martin again.

“My aim wasn’t to cause damage, certainly not to kill him, my aim was to get the drill bit out of his hand,” Steel said.

He added: “I should have let him stab me and sort myself out in hospital rather than gone to this extent. Then he would still be here.”

Drill bit

A drill bit was found by the police when they searched the home.

Steel had previously pleaded not guilty to all the charges but changed his plea for assaulting Ms Begley to guilty.

He had followed Ms Begley when she ran from the house, grabbing her by the hair and throwing her to the ground

He claimed he carried the hammer out with him because he was attempting to hide it and keep it away from his brother

Asked by his defence barrister, John Hipkin KC, why he had chased Ms Begley he said he wanted his heroin back.

“I’m a heroin user, she had my heroin,” he said.

Mr Hipkin also asked if it had occurred to him that his brother might die.

He said: “No, I’d do anything to bring him back.”

After pursuing his former partner, Steel said he took heroin and methadone – a drug used to treat heroin dependence – before falling asleep until his mother woke him.

He also insisted that in the days before his brother’s death he did not tie up his friend Julian Samuel and subject him to two days of abuse, claiming it “didn’t happen”, but admitted giving him a “backhander” to his face.

The trial continues.

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