April 4, 2022 7.30 pm

Wakefield ‘did nothing’ to contribute to killing of Sam Davies, jury told

Barrister claims Wakefield was not involved in murder plan

A barrister has told the Sam Davies murder trial that nothing which defendant Charlie Wakefield did contributed to the killing.

It emerged that Wakefield, 21, had lied to police, giving the man who did the stabbing – his friend Eimantas Gochman, 20 – a false alibi.

He had also washed Gochman’s jogging bottoms after the killer went to Wakefield’s home about 20 minutes after the attack. 

But giving his closing speech to the jury at Nottingham Crown Court, Gregory Bull QC said none of this amounted to his lay client being involved in the planning.

He said: “If you were to delete the name of Charlie Wakefield from your considerations you will still arrive at the conclusion that Sam Davies would have been stabbed and would have died.

“Nothing that Charlie Wakefield did, I submit, contributed towards that.”

Six men and a boy, all from Lincoln, are on trial for murder in the city last year.

Wakefield was on an electronically monitored tag, with a 7pm-7am curfew, when the attack took place just after 10.45pm on May 27. Checks proved that he did not break the curfew that night.

Mr Bull commended to the jury the analysis by barristers representing co-defendants Eric Kesel and the 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named.

He said both had “powerfully” made the point that the prosecution’s suggestion that a drug deal between Kesel and the boy taking place at the same time as the stabbing nearby was part of a joint enterprise of murder was “wishful thinking”.

Wakefield’s case is that he had sent the 17-year-old by taxi to buy cocaine for the two of them. The prosecution says the boy was sent to watch the stabbing and report back to Wakefield.

A taxi driver taking the boy back to Wakefield’s gave police a statement that the boy said in a phone call “he’s got a f***ing weapon”.

However, the taxi driver, who was summonsed to court to give evidence, then said that he had actually heard the word “open”, not “weapon”.

Mr Bull told the jury that the prosecution had chosen to “play hardball” over his client.

He added: “They ask you to say that because he did a number of wrong things following the stabbing, you should jump to the conclusion that he is a party to it and convict him of murder.

“I urge you as strongly as I can to reject that approach.

“Look to the evidence and see it if supports that Charlie Wakefield played a part in the death of Sam Davies.”

Wakefield was one of two defendants who declined the opportunity to give evidence at Nottingham Crown Court.

Mr Bull urged the remaining nine jury members not to draw any adverse conclusion about that decision and said the prosecution evidence against his client was “weak”.

He added: “Gochman gave evidence that helped him.

“Kesel gave evidence that helped him

“[The boy] gave evidence that helped him.

“He could not add to what they had said.

“Either you believe them or you don’t.

“If you disbelieve them then you’re arguably going to disbelieve him.

“He could add nothing to the overall picture, other than to say he was stupid to support Gochman and provide a false alibi.”

The barrister reminded the jury members that they knew Wakefield took drugs and had assaulted the boy in court after the 17-year-old had told “wicked lies” about him.

Mr Bull said: “It’s my submission that he is a young man who you will no doubt not approve of. But this is not a popularity contest.”

He added: “The events that occurred would have occurred without him.

“He played no part in the killing of Sam Davies. There was no benefit to him in helping Mr Gochman, no benefit to him in helping anyone at all.

“Ladies and gentlemen, the correct verdict in his case on the charge of murder and manslaughter is one of not guilty.” 

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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