A BOY accused of murdering a student in a skate park attack told police he only threw one punch in the assault.

In a series of interviews read to Preston Crown Court, the 15-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, denies any involvement in Sophie Lancaster's death des-pite blood stains on his shoes.

Sophie, 20, died two weeks after being attacked in Stub-bylee Park in August last year.

Her 21-year-old boyfriend, Robert Maltby, who she met at Haslingden High School and lived with in Bacup, has still not recovered from the injur-ies he sustained in the attack.

A 16-year-old male has already pleaded guilty to Sophie's murder.

The court heard that the 15-year-old admitted starting the attack by punching store packer Robert in the face.

The teen admitted hitting Robert only once when police came to arrest him 13 hours after the attack.

The boy then gave a prepar-ed statement in an interview which he said he had drunk two litres of Strongbow cider before going to the park where drank Peach Schnapps.

In his interview he said: "I don't know why (I did it) I was drunk and showing off. I stepped forward and hit the lad. He didn't fall over."

He refused to answer any further questions and only gave officers more detail of what happened in his third interview. He said he hit Robert in the face with his right hand, but had not hit Sophie at all.

He accused the 16-year-old of being the only one to attack her, kicking her in the face and causing her to fall over.

Following Sophie's death the 15-year-old was re-interview-ed. The jury saw pictures of clothing worn by the defen-dant on the night of the assault including a Henry Lloyd jumper, Adidas tracksuit bottoms and Adidas trainers.

The court heard spots of blood were on the toe and heel of the trainers, although it could not be determined whose blood it was.

A bloodstain on the 15-year-old's tracksuit bottoms was identified as coming from Robert Maltby. In interview the 15-year-old said he could not explain where the blood had come from adding: "It could have been when I dragged the 16-year-old off (Sophie)."

He also said he had cut his finger earlier in the evening.

Officers read witness state-ments in which people said they had seen the 15-year-old attack Sophie. He responded "It's not true."

The two boys charged with murder and three others aged between 16 and 17, have admitted grievous bodily harm in relation to the attack on Robert.

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