March 29, 2022 11.17 am

Sam Davies murder trial: Kesel’s claim of coincidence ‘defies common sense’

The trial continues

The prosecution in the Sam Davies murder trial says not all of defendant Eric Kesel’s evidence can be relied upon.

The 19-year-old said in evidence that he saw his friend Eimantas Gochman stab Mr Davies in a park between Lincoln’s Coleridge Gardens and Browning Drive at about 10.45pm on May 27 last year.

Barrister Caroline Bray, for the prosecution, told the jury in her closing speech that the 19-year-old was hiding some details.

“There is something Eric Kesel isn’t telling you, isn’t there?

“What he’s not telling you is his involvement in this plan.

“He’s either there to assist as a lookout or to observe and report back. And by so doing, we say, to provide encouragement to Eimantas Gochman.”

She added: “And if you’re sure of one or both of those then Eric Kesel is guilty of murder.”

Earlier on Monday, March 28, Ms Bray had told the jury at Nottingham Crown Court that there were two questions arising out of Kesel’s presence at the park.

CCTV evidence showed he arrived there via the Browning Drive entrance at 10.45.16pm.

Mr Davies arrived at 10.46.27pm and 38 seconds later Gochman was seen running away.

A further 13 seconds later Kesel too could be seen running away in the same direction.

They then met up outside Kesel’s house in Browning Drive and had a short conversation before Gochman ran off and Kesel went into his house.

Ms Bray said to the jury about Kesel: “What did he see of this fatal incident and is he reliable in what he tells you about that?

“Secondly, what was he doing at the park?

“Is he a part of the plan and therefore guilty of murder?”

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

Kesel told detectives that he had been to a friend’s house in Coleridge Gardens at about 10pm to smoke weed. But the CCTV disproved that.

He told the jury in evidence that he had actually been there to do two drug deals – one of which to a co-defendant, a 17-year-old boy who cannot be named for legal reasons.

Kesel said, after completing the deals, he looked up and saw a man bearing down on Mr Davies, thrusting a knife into him and shouting “you’re f***ing dead!”

He then realised the attacker was Gochman.

Ms Bray said: “Eimantas Gochman stabbed Sam Davies to his body deliberately, with force – not by accident, not in self-defence – and shouting ‘you’re f***ing dead”.

“If you are sure of that evidence that comes from Eric Kesel, then Eimantas Gochman is clearly guilty of murder. But is he a reliable witness about that?

“The prosecution say he is a reliable witness about that.”

But Ms Bray reminded the jury that Kesel had given a wrong description of the knife, albeit a large one. He was actually describing a knife which Gochman had shown people some weeks earlier and assumed it was the same one.

“If you accept his explanation for that mistake then that doesn’t detract from his evidence,” said Ms Bray. “The knife used by Eimantas Gochman to stab Sam Davies was a massive knife.”

Ms Bray said Kesel’s initial reluctance to say he was at the park to deal class A and class B drugs was perhaps understandable.

“But was there more to it?” she added. “Was he doing something more than that? Is it just a coincidence that he was there doing deals at the exact same time as the fatal incident occurred?

“The Crown’s answer to that question is no. We say it defies common sense.”

She said the first reason is that he is linked to a lot of other people in the case.

A message with a bunch of flowers left at the murder scene read “Too young to be gone. RIP”. | Photo: The Lincolnite

And she highlighted that co-defendant Charlie Wakefield had said in a phone call from prison: “I sent [the 17-year-old] at the exact same time as the murder, bruv. That’s why Eric was there doing that sale, bro.”

“And we say that implies it wasn’t a coincidence that Charlie Wakefield had sent [the boy] there at the ‘exact same time as the murder, bruv’.”

Ms Bray told the jury that it might also like to consider that Kesel would have had to walk past Gochman waiting in the park and claims he didn’t see him.

“Really? Is the reality they knew each other would be there?” she asked.

And Ms Bray said either Gochman or Kesel picked up Mr Davies’ mobile after the attack.

“Logic suggests it wasn’t Gochman,” she added. “He had his hands full – literally – putting a very large knife in a sheath and down his trousers so he could run away.”

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.