A teenager who inflicted fatal stab wounds on one teenager and seriously injured another in the same incident claimed he was only trying to defend himself from attack.

Carlos Neto used a machete given to him by a friend earlier that day as he was being pursued by members of a rival group, in Elswick, Newcastle, on the evening of November 9, last year.

Newcastle Crown Court heard that he delivered a stab wound to the arm of 14-year Gordon Gault, who was riding pillion on an electric bike, from which he fell.

He died from his wounds in hospital six days later, while another youth, a 17-year-old, was stabbed in the back, also suffering serious injuries.

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

The court heard the confrontation arose amid “tit-for-tat” violence and threats between the youths, from neighbouring Benwell and Elswick, in the West End of the city, in the weeks leading up to the fatal incident.

Neto, himself, was stabbed in the hip and bottom in an attack by up to three armed youths on October 22, last year.

The court heard that he was subsequently goaded on social media about being, “stabbed in the bum”.

Giving evidence at his Newcastle Crown Court trial, he said there had been “tensions” between the groups dating back prior to the school summer holiday, last year.

He claimed members of the other group has “dissed” one of Neto’s friends in music lyrics.

Neto claimed references by him of having a weapon on social media at that point were all exaggerations to make him appear “hard”.

On the day of the incident he said he was made aware of a video on social media of one of his friends, Benedict Mbala, being attacked outside college by people from the Elswick group.

Asked if they set out to seek revenge by going to Elswick that evening armed with weapons, he said it was, “a stunt” which they intended to “show off” on social media.

Neto said: “It shows everybody, the public, that we were not scared of the group that did that to Mbala.”

He said when they went to Elswick Park looking for the rival group a bike came past beeping.

Thinking it was “a signal” to others from the Elswick group, they began to run, believing they were possibly going to be attacked.

He told the court he was “frightened” and “nervous” that he may be stabbed as they were being pursued on Westmorland Road, just outside the southern exit from the park.

Neto said as he intended to turn left onto Brunel Terrace he stopped running, seeing the bike approach, and took out the machete as the person riding pillion (Gordon Gault) appeared to have a weapon.

He said he believed that weapon may be a knife and was unaware it was actually a baseball bat.

Asked what he thought was going to happen, Neto replied: “That I was going to be stabbed.”

He said he then, “struck out with my machete to stop him using his machete against me,” making a jabbing motion, but he was unaware if he had made contact or if he had hurt him.

Neto said another youth then confronted him, pulling out a knife from his waistband, which he said he appeared to try to attack him with, saying: “Come on, then.”

But he said that youth then appeared to stumble and as his back was turned he struck out at him with his machete, hitting his back, causing the lining of his coat to fly out.

Neto said that youth still seemed to be trying to approach him, before the hostilities came to a stop when a car horn was heard.

He said he believed the car may be driven by someone from the Elswick group and he was still frightened, so he continued to run back in the direction from which he and his co-accused arrived earlier.

On catching up with his fellow group members he was unaware if he had harmed anyone, but he admitted trying to get rid of his machete and some clothing in a woodland area, going back a week later, after news of Gordon Gault’s death emerged, to try to set fire to them.

Despite telling the court that he felt “sympathy” for the family of Gordon Gault, he admitted glorifying his killing in rap lyrics he posted on social media to make it appear that he was “not bothered”, although in court he claimed in reality, he was bothered.

He said he got “good reviews” about the posting, improving his image.

“Before, it was because I got stabbed, they saw me as vulnerable and weak, and afterwards people would think I’m hard.”

Asked by his counsel, Jason Pitter KC, Neto accepted causing the injury from which Gordon Gault died and the injury to the 17-year-old victim.

Mr Pitter then asked: “In either case did you want to kill them or cause them serious injury?"

He replied: “No, I was just trying to defend myself.”

See more court stories from The Northern Echo by clicking here

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Neto, 18, formerly of Buddle Street, Benwell, and now of Manchester, denies the murder of Gordon Gault and wounding the other injured teenager.

Similar pleas have been lodged by alleged accomplices Lawson Natty, of Eastgarth, Newbiggin Hall, Newcastle, Benedict Mbala, of St John’s Walk, Newcastle, and Daniel Lacerda, of Paddock Close, Ferryhill, County Durham, all aged 18, plus other co-accused aged 17 and 16.

The trial continues tomorrow (Thursday December 7).