The jury in the Sam Davies murder trial has been asked to consider his behaviour and state of mind on the night he was stabbed.
Gordon Aspden QC, making a closing speech on behalf of the stabber, Eimantas Gochman, reminded the jury that Mr Davies was carrying a knife himself when he went to the Lincoln park.
Gochman, who was waiting for Mr Davies armed with a large Rambo 3 movie-style knife, claims the victim came at him with his knife and Gochman’s actions were in self-defence.
The trial at Nottingham Crown Court was again shown CCTV footage of 23-year-old Mr Davies’ arrival at the Browning Drive entrance to the park just after 10.45pm on May 27 last year.
He had been lured there, probably on the pretext of getting the drug Xanax.
“He was making unusually long and purposeful strides. There’s confidence and a bit of a swagger, you might say,” Mr Aspden told the jury.
“He initially walks past the passageway, weighing up what’s there we say. Then he doubles back and goes in.
“And that fits with Mr Gochman’s description of him suddenly appearing as Mr Gochman stands in that alleyway.
“Why does [Mr Davies] walk past? That is when he was taking the knife out, we say.
“Why else go past and then back? It’s an area he’s not unfamiliar with.
“He was ready with the knife and he went back in there to get the drugs by fair or foul.”
Mr Aspden reminded the jury of Gochman’s account, in which he said he had been recruited by co-defendant Joe Jameson to stab Mr Davies.
The barrister continued: “It was Joe Jameson that gave him the Rambo knife during their meeting in the car on Blankney Crescent at about 7.37pm on that Thursday night.
“He took the knife from Jameson because Jameson had warned him that Sam Davies carried a knife.
“Jameson said he wanted Sam Davies stabbed up so he couldn’t walk.
“Gochman was reluctant to lend himself to Jameson’s plan. Instead he decided that the best thing to do was to beat up Davies up to warn him off in the hope that would satisfy Mr Jameson.
“When Davies arrived at the park, he attacked Gochman with a knife, possibly to rob him of the Xanax he believed he was collecting.
“Gochman drew the Rambo knife as he was in panic mode, as he put it.”
Mr Aspden used a football analogy to describe the “heat of the moment” stabbing as a “rapid, intense coming together” as Gochman tried to ward him off.
“Had he not acted in the way he did, he would have been stabbed by Mr Davies,” he added.
Gochman ran off, later dumping the knife and two mobile phones.
Highlighting evidence, Mr Aspden said Mr Davies’ knife had been found in the park, not on him after he’d staggered to a nearby house for assistance.
Mr Aspden said this suggested he had the knife out in the park.
“If you had just been stabbed, the first thing you would do is not get your knife out of your waistband and toss it away,” he added.
The barrister urged the jury members to follow the questions which the trial judge had supplied to help them arrive at their verdicts.
Mr Aspden told them that the most important words said in the trial were those which jury members had said at the start – that they would faithfully try the defendants and give true verdicts according to the evidence.
“Has the prosecution made you sure that Eimantas Gochman was not acting in self-defence? The burden of proof is on the prosecution.
“Mr Gochman does not have to prove that he was acting in self-defence. It’s for the prosecution to prove that he wasn’t.
“If you think Mr Gochman might have been acting in lawful self-defence then your verdict will be not guilty. Not guilty of murder, not guilty of manslaughter.”
Meanwhile, the proceedings on Thursday, March 31 were watched remotely by the trial judge, The Honourable Mr Justice Goss.
He was the latest person involved in the trial to test positive for COVID-19, following several barristers and a juror who was discharged earlier in the week.
All seven defendants face one count of murder, which they all deny.
They are Billy Gill, 21, of Hatcliffe Gardens; Eimantas Gochman, 20, of Sturton Close; Daniel Heydari, 25, of Chestnut Street; Joe Jameson, 24, of Whitehall Terrace; 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.
- Billy Gill ‘might be reprehensible but not a murderer’
- Accused sorry for making “an action” towards fellow defendant
- Sam Davies’ killing is a ‘tragedy for a decent society’, says defence barrister
- Prosecution case is ‘deceptive’, says defence barrister
- Prosecutors say teenage suspect among “least involved”
- Kesel’s claim of coincidence ‘defies common sense’
- Gill played ‘essential part’, jury told
- Wakefield ‘could not contradict’ prosecution case
- Heydari’s involvement ‘plain to see’
- Second jury member discharged as COVID hits trial… again
- Stabber’s defence ‘does not make sense’
- 17-yo defendant denies seeing weapon
- Accused attacked fellow defendant after court hearing
- ‘I saw Gochman do the stabbing,’ defendant tells trial
- Gochman tells murder trial of moment he stabbed Sam Davies
- Heydari made up a drugs deal story to cover up involvement
- Sam Davies murder accused insists co-defendant had his phone for ‘crucial period’
- Prison cell pal ‘supplied the knife for stabbing’
- University graduate ‘plotter’ claims he was not involved
- Second murder accused says he paid alleged killer only to scare off Sam Davies
- First defendant claims he only wanted to scare off victim
- Jury shown ‘bloodied knife and sheath’ as Sam Davies murder trial resumes
- ‘I’m labelled as this ****ing killer and it’s not me’ – murder accused denies any involvement
- “Snitch” teenage murder suspect told police he watched Sam Davies killing, trial hears
- Car bump was ‘a sign’ to call off fatal meeting