The jury in the trial of the six teenagers accused of the murder of Gordon Gault will continue to deliberate its verdicts in the case tomorrow (Wednesday, January 10).

Jurors retired to begin their deliberations following the judge's summing up of the evidence in the case, at Newcastle Crown Court, on Monday and Tuesday.

They heard it revolves around tit-for-tat violence between rival groups of teenagers in Newcastle’s West End, culminating in the fatal stabbing of 14-year-old Gordon, just outside Elswick Park, early on the evening of November 9, 2022.

During the trial, which began in mid-November, the court has heard that he was slashed in the arm by a machete wielded by Carlos Neto, now 18, who was one of a group of six defendants associated with the Benwell area of the city who had gone to neighbouring Elswick that evening.

It followed the posting on social media of footage of an attack on one of their number, outside his college in Gateshead, earlier that day.

The prosecution alleges they went armed between them with two machetes, another knife and a hammer, seeking revenge for the humiliation of the attack on Benedict Mbala.

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

In their defence, the defendants say they were merely going to pose in rival territory for filming and photographs to show they were tough and not frightened of the group from Elswick.

During a clash just outside the public park in Elswick, at about 6.15pm, Gordon Gault suffered what proved to be the fatal arm injury as he rode pillion on a friend’s electric bike while carrying a baseball bat.

A 17-year-old, also said to be part of the Elswick group, was stabbed in the back by Neto in a further confrontation seconds later.

He suffered serious injuries, from which he recovered, but Gordon Gault died in hospital six days later.

The Northern Echo:

Neto, who himself had suffered a stab wound to the buttocks three weeks earlier, in an attack he had not reported to police, claimed he was acting in self-defence as he delivered both blows while he and members of the Benwell group were retreating from the park at the time.

In completing his summing up of evidence in the case, today, the trial judge, Mr Justice Martin Spencer, told the jury that it is the prosecution’s case that even though Neto has admitted wielding the fateful blows, the killing of Gordon Gault and the attack on the other teenager were acts of “joint enterprise” by all six of the accused, as none would have gone to Elswick that evening without the presence of the others.

He told the jury that the prosecution case is that there were features of gang culture which the accused group “immersed themselves in”, revelling in successful attacks on their rivals, on social media postings, using drill rap-type lyrics.

The judge referred to the prosecution counsel Jonathan Sandiford KC’s use of the song lyric: “Was it real or was it just fantasy?”, as the defendants claim their use of rap was to “exaggerate” events.

He added, however: “It wasn’t just fiction, they were talking about real events.

“Mr Sandiford said what they said and wrote afterwards revelled in what they had done and the fact that the ‘North’ group (those from Elswick) had not since sought revenge.”

The judge said the prosecution was saying that it was not just some sort of, “tragic accident, or self-defence”, “but part of the violence, or ‘beef’ these defendants chose to be involved with on November 9, 2022.”

But he told the jury that the defence case is that the victims in this case were, themselves, “up to no good” that evening.

The judge said the “principal” defendant, Neto, claims he inflicted the blows in order to protect himself, "in the heat of the moment”.

He reminded the jurors that none of the accused had any past criminal convictions and he said it was the defence case that, ”just because four of them chose to carry weapons that evening did not turn them into killers and murderers.”

The judge told the jury that the five others, who could be termed “the accessories”, could only be found guilty of murder if Neto, “the principal”, was convicted of murder and, likewise, for the alternatives of manslaughter and the second offence of wounding with intent.

See more court stories from The Northern Echo by clicking here

Summing up of evidence in Gordon Gault murder trial at Newcastle

Gordon Gault: Teenagers exaggerated 'for the sake of music'

Drill rap lyrics read out at Gordon Gault murder trial

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Following the swearing of the jury bailiffs, the 12-strong panel, which began hearing the case in mid-November, retired to consider its verdicts.

The accused, Lawson Natty, of Eastgarth, Newbiggin Hall, Newcastle, Mbala, of St John’s Walk, Newcastle, Neto, of Manchester, but formerly of Newcastle, and Daniel Lacerda, of Paddock Close, Ferryhill, County Durham, all aged 18, plus 17 and 16-year-old co-accused, each deny murder and wounding with intent.

Jury panel members were called back into court at 4.25pm when the judge sent them home for the night to resume deliberations tomorrow.