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Jury out in trial of six teenagers accused of murdering 14-year-old boy

Gordon Gault was fatally stabbed in the arm while he was riding on the back of a friend’s e-bike in Newcastle’s West End in 2022.

Tom Wilkinson
Tuesday 09 January 2024 16:28 GMT
Gordon Gault was fatally stabbed in Newcastle in November 2022 (Northumbria Police/PA)
Gordon Gault was fatally stabbed in Newcastle in November 2022 (Northumbria Police/PA) (PA Media)

A jury has started deliberating in the trial of six teenagers accused of the joint enterprise murder of a 14-year-old boy who was fatally stabbed.

Gordon Gault was slashed on the arm with a machete as he rode on the back of a friend’s e-bike in Newcastle’s West End in November 2022, and died six days later in hospital, Newcastle Crown Court has heard.

The fatal attack, which also saw one of his associates slashed in the back, came against a background of tit-for-tat violence between two groups who were looking for each other that night, jurors have been told during the trial which started in November and was halted over the Christmas break.

Six defendants aged between 16 and 18 deny murder and wounding with intent.

The jury has been told rap lyrics featuring the death of the 14-year-old were found on some of the defendants’ phones by police.

Summing up before he sent the jury out, Mr Justice Martin Spencer said the prosecution case was that the six went on what was known as a “ride” or a “glide” into a rival group’s territory of Elswick.

They were armed and intending to carry out a revenge attack after one of their members, Benedict Mbala, had been attacked earlier that day, the court heard.

Defendant Carlos Neto, 18, struck Gordon in a surprise attack, the court heard, having repeatedly talked about carrying out a stabbing on their rivals, the prosecution claims.

Mr Justice Spencer outlined the prosecution case, saying: “Carlos Neto carried out that intention, assisted and supported by five other members of his group who went on an armed mission to Elswick seeking revenge.”

The judge said Neto’s case was that he was acting in self-defence and he reminded the jury of Jason Pitter KC’s comment, defending, that what was said in rap or drill music was not necessarily true, just as Bob Marley and Eric Clapton had not really shot a sheriff.

Other defendants claimed they were only in Elswick that evening to film a video for social media to show they were not scared of their rivals, the jury was reminded.

Daniel Lacerda, 18, claimed to be an outsider, from a different area of Newcastle from his co-accused and he had engaged in “ludicrous big talk” in messages to try to fit in.

The 16-year-old defendant, who cannot be named, was not a member of the group and did not know all the co-accused he was with that night, the court heard.

The defendants are Mbala, of St John’s Walk, Newcastle; Neto, of Manchester Road East, Manchester; Lacerda, of Paddock Close, Ferryhill, County Durham; Lawson Natty, 18, of Eastgarth, Newbiggin Hall Estate, Newcastle; and youths aged 17 and 16.

The judge sent the jury home and they will continue deliberating on Wednesday.

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