March 12, 2022 10.00 am

‘I saw Gochman do the stabbing,’ defendant tells Sam Davies murder trial

He saw Gochman “lunge” a knife into Sam Davies

One of the defendants in the Sam Davies murder trial has told the jury that he saw Eimantas Gochman carry out the stabbing.

Eric Kesel, 19, claimed he had just completed two drug deals in Lincoln’s Coleridge Gardens.

He said he turned around to go back through a park towards Browning Drive and saw Gochman “lunge” a knife into Mr Davies while shouting: “You’re f***ing dead!”

Giving evidence at Nottingham Crown Court on Friday, March 11, Kesel told the jury that 23-year-old Mr Davies pleaded “What have I done?” as he walked backwards with his hands up.

Kesel is one of seven Lincoln defendants who face one count of murder, which they all deny.

His barrister, Allison Summers, asked him: “Why did you run out of the park on the night of May 27 last year?”

“Because I saw Eimantas Gochman stab someone else,” Kesel replied.

“Why were you in the park at that time?” said Ms Summers.

Kesel answered: “I was there to sell drugs.”

He confirmed he had not encouraged Gochman, 20, to stab Mr Davies and had “no idea” Gochman was going to be in the park.

Kesel told the jury that he had been at home in Browning Drive until just before the attack when he left to go through the park to Coleridge Gardens where the drug deals were to happen.

Ms Summers said: “Eimantas Gochman said that you saw him as you entered and he said to you ‘keep walking’. Is that true?”

“No,” said Kesel.

He told the jury he had arranged to meet one of the defendants – a 17-year-old boy – to supply cocaine to another defendant, Charlie Wakefield, whom he knew to be on tag at that time of night.

Kesel said he met the boy and did a separate deal for ketamine with an unknown person at the same location and time.

He added: “I turned around to go back through the park, the same way I came, to go home. I remember putting the money in my pocket and zipped it up and then when I looked up that’s when I saw what was happening.

“Out of the alleyway there was a male in all black. I didn’t know who it was until he spoke to the victim.

“The male in black had a big knife. Mr Davies had no knife, he was backing away and Eimantas was pushing him towards the bench.”

“Was he physically making contact with him?” asked Ms Summers.

“No, he was closing in on him,” said Kesel. “He stabbed Mr Davies somewhere in the right side.

“It was like a thrust motion, he was lunging the knife into Mr Davies.

“When Eimantas stabbed Mr Davies he said ‘you’re f***ing dead!’

“Mr Davies replied, saying ‘what have I done?’

“And that’s when I realised, oh s**t, I actually know that guy. That’s when I realised who was there and what was going on.”

Ms Summers asked: “Anything else that made you realise it was Mr Gochman?”

“The height,” replied Kesel.

Gochman had said in his evidence that he is six feet five inches tall.

Ms Summers said: “After you saw Mr Gochman stab Mr Davies, what did Mr Gochman do?”

“He put the knife down his trousers and ran back through the alleyway,” said Kesel.

Gochman said in his evidence that Kesel came up behind Mr Davies and pushed him, sending him on to his hands and knees.

“I never touched Sam Davies,” Kesel told the jury.

He said he had been “selfish” in not calling emergency services – even anonymously – because he was worried about telling police the reason why he had been there.

“If I could go back, I would do things differently but I can’t,” he added.

Kesel denied that he picked up Mr Davies’ mobile at the scene and Gochman’s claim that he handed it to the stabber outside Kesel’s house moments later.

Kesel agreed that they had met up there after both running past witnesses in Browning Drive.

“He basically told me to keep my f***ing mouth shut and don’t tell anyone about what had just gone on. I didn’t reply – I was scared of him.

“He was trying to make a point – ‘You’ve seen what I done and I know where your house is.’”

Sam Davies, 23, was killed in a stabbing at Coleridge Gardens in Lincoln. | Photo: Lincolnshire Police

Kesel claimed Wakefield told him the next day that Gochman had arrived at his house just after the attack “acting all paranoid, shutting the blinds and shutting all the doors”.

“He told him he’d just stabbed someone for £5,000. He told me Goch stashed the knife in Our Lady Church.

“Charlie was p***ed off that Gochman had come round for a spliff and got him involved in all this because he was just out of jail.”

In his evidence, Kesel admitted that he had lied to police when he said he had overheard Gochman telling another man that he did the stabbing and where he’d ditched the knife.

Kesel insisted he did this to avoid bringing Wakefield’s name into the investigation but highlighted that what he said about Gochman being responsible and the whereabouts of the weapon was proven to be true.

Under cross-examination by Simon Russell-Flint QC, barrister for Daniel Heydari, Kesel confirmed that he had heard a conversation between co-defendant Joe Jameson and Heydari while they were all on remand.

Kesel said Heydari had asked Jameson if he “felt bad” for not admitting in court – as Jameson had promised – that it was he who had sent messages on the afternoon of May 27 from Heydari’s phone to co-defendant Billy Gill about needing “someone dipped up” (stabbed).

Kesel said fellow prisoners not involved in the case told Jameson, who was later in tears: “You did it like a man, you might as well take it like a man.”

Meanwhile, William Harbage QC, for the prosecution, told Kesel: “It wasn’t just a coincidence you were in the park at the time [of the stabbing].”

Mr Harbage’s cross-examination of the defendant is due to continue on Monday, March 14.

All 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.

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