A fourteen-year-old boy was stabbed to death by a rival group of youths against a background of tit-for-tat violence, a murder trial jury was told today (Wednesday November 15).

Gordon Gault was stabbed in Newcastle’s West End on November 9, 2022, and died from his injuries in hospital exactly a year ago today (November 15), jurors heard.

Jonathan Sandiford KC, prosecuting, told Newcastle Crown Court that two armed groups clashed and Gordon, plus another youth, aged 17, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were stabbed.

Outlining the case to the jury, Mr Sandiford said rap lyrics and notes written on some of the defendants’ phones in the light of the attack, appeared to “revel” in the killing, glorifying their actions and mocking the friends of the victims.

The Northern Echo: Trial of six teenagers accused of the murder of 14-year-old Gordon Gault has begun at Newcastle

Mr Sandiford told the court Gordon and the other stabbed youth, who survived, were attacked out of revenge as one of the defendants, Carlos Neto, now 18, had been stabbed, or “cheffed”, himself, in the bottom some weeks earlier.

On the day of the fatal stabbing, his co-accused Benedict Mbala, also now 18, was assaulted outside his college, in Gateshead, with a humiliating video clip of the attack being subsequently shared on social media.

Mr Sandiford said the defendants’ group armed themselves with two machetes of the type used by the British Army Gurkha regiment, kitchen knives and a lump hammer, then went into the territory of their rivals, known as a “vio”, or violation.

He said there was a feud, or “beef” between the groups, and, “it involved tit-for-tat violence and threats of violence before and after the stabbings."

Gordon was said to have retrieved a metal baseball bat from bushes and was seen on CCTV to be wearing blue latex gloves, to avoid leaving DNA or fingerprints, in the lead-up to the clash between groups, Mr Sandiford said.

He was riding on the back of an electric scooter ridden by another youth, who cannot be named, as the rivals looked for each other.

Neto then used a machete to stab Gordon in the arm, catching him unaware on the back of the e-bike, and the blow severed vital blood vessels, the court heard.

The youth rode him away from the scene, leaving a trail of blood in the road, and an ambulance was called but the 14-year-old could not be saved despite days of hospital treatment.

Meanwhile, the two armed groups continued to clash with each other until a passing motorist caused them to break up the confrontation.

Another one of Gordon’s group was also slashed and required hospital treatment for his wound, the court heard.

The defendants all deny murder and a charge of wounding with intent on the other alleged victim.

They are: Mbala, of St John’s Walk, Newcastle; Neto, of Manchester Road East, Manchester; Daniel Lacerda, of Paddock Close, Ferryhill, County Durham, and Lawson Natty, both also now 18, of Eastgarth, Newbiggin Hall Estate, Newcastle; and, youths aged 17 and 16, who cannot be identified.

Footage from CCTV in the area showed the six teenagers said to have been responsible leaving Elswick after the attack and walking to nearby Benwell, where the weapons and clothing worn by some the accused was hidden in woodland.

Mr Sandiford said as they made their way on streets parallel to Scotswood Road, Neto appeared to re-enact the fatal thrust with his machete to his counterparts, while riding the bike commandeered from their victims.

Subsequent messaging implied that attempts were made to get rid of the dumped weapons and clothing items by setting them alight, but they failed as vegetable oil was used.

They were later recovered by police from the woodland, near to Amelia Walk.

Ending his day-long opening of the case, Mr Sandiford told the jury: “Although Carlos Neto wielded the knife, the prosecution say all the defendants are responsible for what happened and are guilty of the two charges on the indictment.

“They were acting together as an armed group to revenge the attack on Mbala earlier that day, to further the ‘beef’, or feud, with the other group and each going along with the rest encouraged the others by going with them, offering support and being there for back up.

“How much easier it was because they were six, not one, two or three.

“Because they were an armed group they felt able to go to Elswick to take on the other group.

“The prosecution say that’s exactly what happened and, at the end of the day, it was a matter of chance that he, Carlos Neto, struck the fatal blow to Gordon Gault and injured the other youth.”

Mr Sandiford said the prosecution claim Carlos Neto was not acting in self-defence, as it does not arise in this case.

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“The reason being that Carlos Neto,like the other co-accused, armed themselves to engage in armed violence on the streets of Newcastle.

“It was unlawful violence in an unlawful fight with unlawful weapons.”

The trial, expected to last up to six weeks, continues tomorrow.