A DRUG dealer cleared of attempted murder has been back in court for selling heroin and cocaine and having a hunting knife at a Worcester hotel.

Ethan Bell, previously known as Ethan Bell-Milne, was acquitted by a jury of the attempted murder of Keil Mansfield in George Street, Worcester during his trial last December.

Mr Mansfield was stabbed three times but Bell claimed self-defence, telling the jury: “It was either him or me.”

The 20-year-old appeared at Worcester Crown Court via videolink from HMP Brinsford yesterday (Tuesday) on fresh charges, less than two months after his dramatic acquittal.

He admitted possession of both heroin and cocaine with intent to supply and possession of a blade (a hunting knife) in a public place.

The offences happened at the Premier Inn in New Road, Worcester on June 8 last year, three days before the stabbing of Mr Mansfield who collapsed and was airlifted to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.

Yesterday Bell, previously of Himley Street, Dudley, appeared on the large screen before judge Daniel Pearce-Higgins QC.

Wearing a grey sports sweater and grey jogging bottoms, he was asked by the clerk of the court to confirm he was Ethan Bell, replying : “Yeah, yeah, yeah.”

The clerk told him that, though he was appearing by video conferencing link, it did not change the serious nature or importance of the hearing. Asked if he understood Bell said: “Yes, sir.”

Caroline Harris, defending, read out a basis of plea from Bell.

He admitted he was at the Premier Inn to deal the drugs and received the knife from a man who had been directing him, saying he had been forced to deal the drugs.

In his statement he said he had previously been dropped off at the house of Darren Dowie in Worcester who did not want him there.

Bell says he was told by the man directing him to book into a hotel and asked his partner to do this on his behalf as he did not have any identification.

He also said in the statement that his family had been threatened and an assault on him at a Young Offender Institution had been filmed and sent to his mother.

We reported last year how the jury deliberated for just 40 minutes on charges of attempted murder and wounding with intent.

Bell smiled after the verdicts of the jury, made up of nine men and three women, were delivered.

There were also sobs from the public gallery. During the eight day trial the prosecution accused Bell, then 19, of stabbing Mr Mansfield three times, once in the chest and twice in the abdomen at a flat 'in a rage' following an argument over £20.

The court heard that Bell had been selling crack cocaine at the flat, threw a knife in a canal and left in a taxi called by girlfriend Mariana Da Silva.

Bell will next appear at Worcester Crown Court on March 5 for the three counts relating to his arrest on June 8 last year. He was remanded in custody until that hearing.