Six young people who were part of the group with stabbing victim Gordon Gault on the evening he suffered his fatal injuries will be sentenced for their part in the violence tomorrow (Friday, March 22).

Fourteen-year-old Gordon suffered a deep stab wound to the top of his right arm as he was riding pillion on the back of an electric bike, holding a baseball bat, on the evening of November 9, 2022.

He was taken to hospital suffering injuries from which he would not recover, due to blood loss, with his death confirmed six days later.

In the wake of the incident, described as a confrontation amid on-going tit-for-tat threats and violence between rival groups from Newcastle’s West End, police inquiries led to the arrest and court appearances of a dozen mostly teenagers, six on either side.

The perpetrator of the fatal blow, Carlos Neto, and a friend who supplied him with the machete used in the attack, Lawson Natty, both then 17 and now 18, were convicted of the manslaughter of Gordon following a two-month trial at Newcastle Crown Court, earlier this year.

The Northern Echo: Carlos Neto, inset left, and Lawson Natty, right, convicted of the manslaughter of Gordon Gault,

Both were also found guilty of unlawfully wounding another member of Gordon’s group, Jack Hardy, who was slashed across the back by Neto, moments after the first, fatal blow.

Neto, who was living in Newcastle at the time, but more recently of Little Hulton, in Salford, Greater Manchester, and Natty, of Newbiggin Hall, Newcastle, were both cleared of Gordon’s murder at the trial, as were four co-accused, all said to be part of the group from the Benwell area.

The convicted pair were back at the court to be sentenced earlier this month, with Neto receiving a custodial sentence of nine years and two months, while a sentence of two years and eight months was imposed on Natty.

Six members of Gordon Gault’s group, from the Elswick area of Newcastle, were due to go on trial last month charged with violent disorder.

But after pre-trial discussion, their guilty pleas to the slightly lesser charge of affray were accepted by the Crown.

They were the now 18-year-olds Hardy, of Quarry Bank Court, and Raymond Matthew, of Durham Street, both Elswick, Newcastle, plus 28-year-old Liam Thompson, of no fixed abode, and three 17-year-olds, who cannot be named.

Five of them appeared back at the court today (Tursday March 21) at the start of the two-day sentencing hearing.

The Northern Echo:

Chris Moran, prosecuting, said the two groups converged on Elswick Park on the evening of the fatal clash.

He said both had the similar characteristics of group affiliation and had group identity, with their own “territory”.

Mr Moran said for the purposes of the court the six to be sentenced at this hearing were known as members of the ‘North’ group, from the Elswick area.

He said it was not suggested any of the six before the court were specifically responsible for any particular incident, but they were all part of a group prepared to take part in violence upon the rival group, with several armed with weapons themselves and wearing blue latex gloves.

“There’s no other reason for a group of mainly youths to be running around wearing latex gloves.”

Mr Mason said seeing they were outnumbered, members of the ‘South’, or Benwell group, retreated, pursued by Gordon and some of his group by bike.

It was when they caught up with backmarkers among their rivals that the violent clash took place in which Gordon was slashed and Hardy was seriously injured.

Mr Mason said it was the intervention of a passing female motorist, who drove between the rival factions sounding her car horn, that the violence desisted.

Concluding his opening for the sentencing hearing, Mr Mason told the court: “The Crown say this was organised and serious violence on the streets of Newcastle as a result of which, unfortunately, a 14-year-old boy died and another was left seriously injured.

“It was pre-meditated, group violence and injuries ensued.

“It has to be accepted that the Crown can’t prove everybody had weapons, but the Crown say everybody was aware people had weapons.”

Judge Edward Bindloss said all played different roles and he would have to differentiate those in sentencing each of the six.

But he said it had to be put in the highest category for culpability, for which, “there can’t be any argument”.

The judge said he had never overseen a case of affray in which someone had lost their life.

“The Crown’s case is that both groups were involved in this public disorder, even though the other group was not charged with public disorder.”

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Counsel for the six then outlined their clients’ respective roles in the incident, highlighting that not all were armed, five were aged 17 and so were youths in the eyes of the law, at the time, and some played no part in the violence.

In Hardy’s case, his counsel, Glenn Gatland, said he suffered “significant injuries” from which he was lucky to survive.

Judge Bindloss bailed all the defendants present to return to court to be sentenced in the morning (Friday March 22).