A judge resumed his summing up of evidence today (Tuesday January 9) in the trial of six teenagers accused of the killing of a 14-year-old boy in a street clash between rival groups of youths.

Gordon Gault was stabbed in the arm with a machete while riding on the back of a friend’s electric bike in Newcastle’s West End on the evening of November 9, 2022.

Newcastle Crown Court has heard that he died from his injuries in hospital six days later.

A 17-year-old associate of Gordon was seriously injured when he was stabbed in the back during the same incident.

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

The fatal attack was said to be against a background of mounting tit-for-tat violence between youths from neighbouring Benwell and Elswick, following goading on social media messaging using rap lyrics to boast of their fighting prowess.

Six defendants, now aged between 16 and 18, went on trial at the court in mid-November, charged with murder and wounding with intent.

The Northern Echo:

The court heard that the clash was part of a revenge mission by youths from the Benwell area after one of their number was attacked outside his college in Gateshead earlier in the day.

Footage of the attack was posted on social media leading to the Benwell youths seeking “pay back” by going into “rival territory”, in Elswick, armed with machetes and a hammer that evening.

Following a break over the Christmas and New Year period, the hearing resumed yesterday (Monday January 8) with trial judge, Mr Justice Martin Spencer, beginning his summing up of evidence.

He told the jury at the outset: “These young men are accused of two of the most serious offences in the criminal calendar, murder and wounding with intent.”

The judge said at the time the defendants were aged 15, 16 and 17.

“Gordon Gault, who died from his injuries sustained on November 9, 2022, was only 14 and **** **** (the alleged victim of the wounding with intent offence) a little older, 17.

“Their ages is one of the real tragedies of this case.

“The victims were all from the Elswick are of Newcastle and the others either lived or had connections with the Benwell area of Newcastle.”

Mr Justice Spencer said the build up to the events of November 9, 2022, began before the school summer holiday of that year with violent and threatening incidents in the growing feud.

He said a lot of the online goading which is a constant element of the case features the use of drill-type rap lyrics espousing violence, some of which was said to be an exaggeration of events.

But the judge told the jury: “These young men do not find themselves facing these two charges because they were making drill raps and glorifying in violence.

“They are here because they were present when one young man was stabbed, receiving fatal injuries, and the other received serious injuries.”

The defendants are Benedict Mbala, of St John’s Walk, Newcastle, Carlos Neto, of Manchester Road East, Manchester, but formerly of Newcastle, Daniel Lacerda, of Paddock Close, Ferryhill, County Durham, and Lawson Natty, of Eastgarth, Newbiggin Hall Estate, Newcastle, all now aged 18, plus co-accused youths aged 17 and 16.

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Although the prosecution alleges that Neto inflicted the fatal blow and caused the serious injury to the other youth, they say they were guilty of murder as they intended really serious harm to be inflicted on others in the rival group.

Defence representatives for the youths from Benwell claim they were retreating at the time of the fatal clash and not all were armed.

They claim they only went to Elswick as a stunt to post on social media to show they were not scared of their rivals from that area.

The judge is expected to conclude his summing up of the evidence later today before the jury retires to consider its verdicts.