March 8, 2022 6.46 pm

Gochman tells murder trial of moment he stabbed Sam Davies

“When he got closer I realised he had a knife with him and then I went into panic mode.”

The jury in the Sam Davies murder trial has heard a defendant admit that he carried out the stabbing.

Eimantas Gochman, 20, said it was not his intention to use the large Rambo 3 knife hidden in his trousers but he wielded after Mr Davies came at him with a knife.

“Honestly, it just happened in a matter of seconds,” he told Nottingham Crown Court in evidence-in-chief on Tuesday, March 8.

“Before I knew it I felt a bit of pressure on my hand as if someone pushed it against me or came into contact with it.”

Gochman had described Mr Davies taking “big steps” towards him in the Lincoln park at about 10.45pm on May 27 last year and noticed that he was carrying a knife.

He said: “I didn’t see much of him before he was really close.

“I said to him ‘is it Sam?’

“He said nothing and carried on. When he got closer I realised he had a knife with him and then I went into panic mode.”

His barrister, Gordon Aspden QC, said: “Where was the knife?”

“In his hand,” the defendant replied.

“What went through your mind when you saw the knife?” said Mr Aspden.

Gochman replied: “I s**t myself. I didn’t know what to do. I was trying to save my own skin.

“He came at me, swung the knife and damaged the front of my North Face jacket.”

Gochman said he thought pulling out his own knife would intimidate Mr Davies or make him think again.

“It made no difference,” he added. 

Mr Aspden said: “Did you intend to stab him?”

“Never,” replied Gochman.

“Were you aware of the knife going into him?” the defendant was asked.

“When he backed off and he was holding his hand on his body, I realised something must’ve happened,” was his response.

Gochman said fellow defendant Eric Kesel then came from behind Mr Davies and pushed him, causing Mr Davies to fall to his hands and knees.

“After that I just bolted off, I panicked – I didn’t know what to do,” said Gochman, who was 19 at the time.

He told the jury that his friend Kesel had no part in planning any attack on Mr Davies.

He said it was by coincidence that Kesel had walked through the park between Coleridge Gardens and Browning Drive as Gochman was waiting for Mr Davies and had been told to “keep walking”.

Mr Aspden reminded the jury that the prosecution had produced the knife which Mr Davies was carrying.

Now in the eighth week of the trial, it was the first time Gochman had been in the same courtroom as five of the other defendants.

He and Charlie Wakefield are following proceedings via video link from a separate courtroom.

Gochman, dressed in a dark blue suit, with a white shirt and tie, told the jury that co-defendant Joe Jameson had pressured him into attacking Mr Davies, a former worker for him in cannabis dealing.

Mr Davies had burgled Jameson of drugs and cash about ten days earlier after the pair had fallen out. Jameson allegedly then got wind of a second burglary in the pipeline.

Gochman told the jury that he owed Jameson £600 for three ounces of cannabis which had subsequently been seized by the police. He said they also took his phone because they wrongly believed he was dealing.

According to Gochman, on the day of the stabbing he had been contacted by co-defendant Billy Gill asking if it was OK to pass on Gochman’s new mobile number to Jameson.

When Jameson called, he quickly referred to the longstanding debt, the jury heard.

“He made out that I owed him a favour that I needed to do and, if not, he knew where I lived and he threatened to do something to my house,” said Gochman.

He added that he told Jameson he would pay the debt within a month or two. 

But the jury was told that Jameson wasn’t really interested in the money.

“He said he wanted someone stabbed up so that he couldn’t walk,” Gochman said.

He added that he told Jameson he wouldn’t do “crazy stuff” but was prepared to beat up Mr Davies – catch him off-guard, give him a black eye and tell him why.

Gochman said during the course of the day Jameson made it clear he wanted more than that and said Mr Davies was dangerous and likely to be armed himself.

A plan was hatched to lure Mr Davies to the park that night on the pretext of buying the drug Xanax.

The jury was told by Gochman that when he met Jameson at about 7.40pm he was “fidgety” and “kept twitching”.

He said Jameson again stressed that Mr Davies was “unpredictable” and “dangerous” and pulled from underneath his car seat a black bag containing the knife, which he gave to Gochman and said: “You’ll need this.”

Gochman says he ditched the bag and knife in a shed at Scopwick Place, returning for it just before the arranged 10pm meeting with Mr Davies.

He then booked a taxi to take him to near the attack scene but Mr Davies was more than 30 minutes late.

“What’s going through your mind by about half past ten?” asked Mr Aspden.

“I was really nervous. I didn’t know what to expect. I remember sweating loads,” replied Gochman.

He said after the incident, Kesel caught up with him and gave him a Samsung phone.

He dumped what turned out to be Mr Davies’ phone and the Rambo knife and destroyed his own SIM card after ringing Jameson to tell him things had gone wrong.

He then went to co-defendant Charlie Wakefield’s house and spent the night there along with Wakefield, who was on tag at the time, and a co-defendant youth who cannot be named.

Gochman said the first he knew of Mr Davies dying was when a friend showed him The Lincolnite’s Facebook page the following day.

“How did that make you feel?” said Mr Aspden.

“Horrible,” Gochman replied. “I think I just went pale and left the room.

“I wasn’t in a good state of mind after finding that out.

“I was really stressed, really worried, scared.”

Gochman was arrested at Wakefield’s house at gunpoint two days later, on May 30.

Seven defendants face one count of murder, which they all deny.

They are Billy Gill, 21, of Hatcliffe Gardens; Daniel Heydari, 25, of Chestnut Street; Joe Jameson, 24, of Whitehall Terrace; Eimantas Gochman, 20, of Sturton Close; Eric Kesel, 19, of Browning Drive; and Charlie Wakefield, 21, of Broxholme Gardens.

A 17-year-old boy cannot be legally identified due to his age.

Jameson is also accused of making a threat to kill, which he denies.

The trial continues.