March 29, 2022 5.00 pm

Sam Davies murder trial: Prosecutors say teenage suspect among “least involved”

Prosecution suggested 17-year-old was “troubled”

The 17-year-old boy accused of murdering Sam Davies is “one of the least involved but still involved”, the jury has been told.

That was the view of the prosecution, given by William Harbage QC as he completed his closing speech at Nottingham Crown Court on Tuesday, March 29.

The boy cannot be named for legal reasons due to his age. The lad gave evidence to the trial in which he admitted going near to the scene of the stabbing in Lincoln at the time it took place to buy cocaine from co-defendant Eric Kesel, 19.

He had been sent in a taxi from co-defendant Charlie Wakefield’s house, and he was back at the house when Eimantas Gochman arrived there about 20 minutes after
stabbing Mr Davies at about 10.45pm on May 27 last year.

Mr Harbage told the jury that members might think the boy was “a troubled young man” but he had accepted in giving evidence that he knew the difference between right and wrong and between truth and lies.

“He was one of the least involved but still involved,” said the barrister, who added that the prosecution accepted much of what he said was true, including Gochman telling Wakefield that he had stabbed someone for £5,000.

“But we say that [he] also told lies about his own involvement,” said Mr Harbage.

“Lies about the conversation in the taxi and lies about the gloves. The gloves are important in the case against [him].

“It was particularly clear what he was saying in interview – Gochman wanted gloves, he rang Charlie Wakefield and asked to borrow some and Wakefield agreed. He said he saw Charlie Wakefield with the gloves in his hand, which he then put in his pocket.”

The boy initially said Wakefield had given the gloves to Gochman outside a Co-op at about 8pm on the day of the stabbing while the boy had been inside.

But he later admitted that did not happen, a matter backed up by the fact Wakefield was on a 7pm-7am electronically monitored curfew and had not broken it.

“But he stills says the gloves were discussed in a phone call,” said Mr Harbage. “He didn’t just make up a story about gloves, did he? It would be an extremely odd thing to do to just pluck a story about gloves out of the air.”

He added: “So why is [the boy] lying about that? You may think it’s because he handed over the gloves to Gochman.”

Mr Harbage had highlighted that the boy immediately said upon arrest that he wasn’t at the scene and Wakefield was. He told the jury that the boy had done the same “swap” of names regarding the gloves too.

Turning to the lad’s presence at the park, Mr Harbage said: “[He] was sent to the park quote ‘at the exact same time as the killing’ was what Charlie Wakefield said in a phone call from prison.

“In other words the main reason for [the boy] going to the park was that the killing was happening there.

“The drugs deal may have been part of the reason but it wasn’t the main reason.

“[He] went to observe, to watch and then report back and you may think that’s exactly what he did.”

The taxi driver told police that on the return journey the boy said in a phone call “he had a f***ing weapon”.

Mr Harbage said: “But [the taxi driver] changed his account in evidence and said the word he overheard was ‘open’, not ‘weapon’.

“That doesn’t make any sense. It’s obvious [the boy] didn’t say that.”

Finally, Mr Harbage told the jury that it was the prosecution’s view that the boy had delivered the gloves to Gochman and had gone to the park to report back on the attack.

“We say that the evidence drives you to [the boy] is also guilty of murder,” he concluded.

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.

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