The jury in the trial of the teenagers accused of the murder of Gordon Gault has been sent home for the weekend, to continue its deliberations on Monday (January 15).

Six teenagers are jointly accused of the murder of 14-year-old Gordon and wounding a 17-year-old youth with intent, arising from the same incident, in the West End of Newcastle, in November 2022.

Gordon was slashed across the arm with a machete as he rode pillion passenger on an electric bike, while carrying a baseball bat, during a confrontation between youths from rival groups in Elswick and neighbouring Benwell, in Newcastle.

Newcastle Crown Court heard that despite extensive medical attention he died from his injuries in hospital six days later.

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

The 17-year-old, who was stabbed in the back and suffered serious injuries, from which he survived, a short time after Gordon’s eventually fatal wounds were sustained.

Defendant Carlos Neto, now 18, accepts responsibility for causing both injuries, but claims he did so in self-defence as he and other members of the Benwell group were retreating from Elswick Park, fearing they were to come under attack from the rival group.

He said he and other members of the Benwell group had gone to rival territory to pose for photographs for social media to show they were not afraid of the “Elswickers”.

The court has heard that the background to the incident was mounting tit-for-tat threats and violence between the rival groups, pre-dating the school summer holiday of that year.

The Northern Echo:

Neto, himself, had been stabbed in the buttocks three weeks earlier, but chose not to report the attack, while on the day of the fatal events in Elswick, one of the Benwell group was said to have been attacked by their rivals outside his college in Gateshead.

Footage of that attack was posted on social media to “goad” the Benwell group and it is the prosecution’s case that they went armed, with two machetes, another knife and a hammer, between them, in a revenge mission that evening.

The prosecution say that although only Neto inflicted the machete blows killing Gordon and seriously injuring his associate, all six are accused of murder under the principles of “joint enterprise”, as it is said that without the presence of the others, none of the accused would have gone to Benwell that evening.

Even several months after the fatal attack, the prosecution say messages were posted on social media by the Benwell group glorifying the killing of Gordon, using drill-rap type lyrics.

The accused, Lawson Natty, of Eastgarth, Newbiggin Hall, Benedict Mbala, of St John’s Walk, both Newcastle, Neto, now of Manchester, but formerly from Newcastle, and Daniel Lacerda, of Paddock Close, Ferryhill, County Durham, all now aged 18, plus 17 and 16-year-old co-accused, who can’t be publicly identified, by law, all deny murder and wounding with intent.

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The hearing began at the court in mid-November, and, following a three-week break over the Christmas and New Year period, it resumed on Monday this week, with the summing up of evidence and legal directions given by the trial judge, Mr Justice Martin Spencer.

Jurors were sent out to begin considering verdicts on Tuesday afternoon, and, on what was to have been the fourth day of deliberations, today (Friday January 12), the judge adjourned the hearing sent them home for the weekend.

They were asked to return to court to continue to resume their deliberations, on Monday (January 15).