A MAN has denied robbing a 94-year-old woman in her home, insisting he was getting drunk and high with friends at the time.

Lewis Onwuchekwa, 25, of Newton Road, Tilbury, told Basildon Crown Court yesterday he could not have committed the offence because he was drinking spirits and using cocaine until the early hours of the morning.

Two men broke into an address in Thames Haven Road, Corringham, at around 4.30am on July 12, last year.

The woman was woken up by the men who dragged her out of bed and forced her to hand over her wedding ring.

The suspects also stole a necklace and bank cards before threatening to harm the woman with a knife.

The victim’s bank card was later used at Lloyds bank in Corringham and a three-figure sum of cash was taken.

Onwuchekwa was arrested after crashing his car during a police pursuit two days later. Officers recovered CS gas in the back of his car.

Taking the stand in his defence at the court, he said: “There were a few people round at a friend’s house having drinks.

“I was drinking spirits and also doing cocaine. I got it from a drug dealer in Corringham.”

The court heard that despite ANPR and phone data putting Onwuchekwa’s phone and car in the area of the victim’s home, friends regularly used them both.

He added: “At 4am I was in a bad state. I couldn’t speak much and was staggering all over the place.”

Prosecutor Michael Bisgrove asked Onwuchekwa why he tried to flee from police.

Onwuchekwa said: “I was arrested three weeks prior for drug driving and that same day I was also under the influence of drugs and I didn’t want to get charged again.”

Mr Bisgrove said: “You were willing to head butt, punch and use CS gas on the officer who tried to arrest you.”

Onwuchekwa said: “Yes as I felt in fear for my life. He was trying to break my wrists. I still have marks.” Onwuchekwa has been charged with robbery. He denied the charge. The trial continues