One of the teenagers accused of the murder of Gordon Gault in a fatal knife attack claimed he only took a machete to the scene as he was given it, in case they were 'jumped on' by members of a rival group.

The 16-year-old boy was aged 15 at the time of the incident, which took place in a street adjacent to Elswick Park, in the West End of Newcastle, early on the evening of Wednesday November 9 last year.

During the trial at Newcastle Crown Court, now in its third week, the prosecution claims all six defendants, went into “enemy territory” in nearby Elswick seeking revenge after one of their own number was attacked outside college, in Gateshead, earlier that day.

Giving evidence, the 16-year-old conceded it was “stupid” to take a weapon with him, but he said it was handed to him and he did not think there would be any violence, as he was only expecting, “a shouting match” with the rival group.

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

He said he carried the knife between two pairs of trousers with the tie chord fastened tightly.

Under cross-examination by prosecution junior counsel, Chris Moran, the now 16-year-old was asked if he took the machete with him in order to hurt people, he replied: “No.”

He said he went to Elswick Park that evening because he was asked to, but when Mr Moran quizzed him as to who requested him to go along, he said he, “couldn’t remember exactly”.

Although he said he was requested to go along, he told the court he did not think anything was going to happen.

Mr Moran said: “When you were given that machete you said you were given it in case you were ‘jumped’.

“There was a chance you would see people in Elswick Park who would ‘jump’ you.

“They (other members of his group) trusted you not to tell your parents or the police.

“Did they trust you not to run away at the first sign of trouble?”

The teenager replied: “Well, I didn’t think anything was going to happen.”

But he admitted that in the confrontation, having not seen either the fatal blow, or another injuring a second youth, he did pull out the machete from its sheath when challenged by a rival group member.

Asked by Mr Moran what he was thinking of doing with the machete, he replied: “I didn’t think anything would happen.

“I thought there would just be a shouting match, like I said yesterday.

“No-one was going to get really hurt with us. I was just carrying it.”

He admitted that on their return to the Benwell area he and some of the others ditched their weapons and some clothing in a wooded area.

Closing his cross-examination, Mr Moran asked the defendant to agree or disagree with his final comments.

“You were all there to back each other up, to support each other as a group for the violence that was going to happen.

“That’s why you had a machete. To show people they would get hurt because of those machetes.”

The defendant disagreed.

Mr Moran then said: “You also knew the other group might be armed and might come at you.”

The defendant said he was not sure.

Mr Moran said the reason they went to Elswick Park was to attack “another group” and he “suggested” that in response to a number of questions he had lied in giving evidence.

The defendant replied: “No”.

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Both he and a 17-year-old co-accused deny the murder of Gordon Gault, 14, who died in hospital six days after being attacked that evening, plus wounding a 17-year-old boy in the same incident.

Four other alleged accomplices, all now aged 18, Carlos Neto, now of Manchester, Daniel Lacerda, of Paddock Close, Ferryhill, County Durham, plus Benedict Mbala, of St John’s Walk, and Lawson Natty, of Newbiggin Hall Estate, both Newcastle, also deny both charges.

The court was told Mbala has chosen not to give evidence, and the next defendant to take to the witness stand, tomorrow (Wednesday, December 6), is the alleged perpetrator of the fatal knife wound, Carlos Neto.