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Drug dealer, accused of murdering Ipswich teenager, denies being member of group linked to killing

PUBLISHED: 15:12 22 January 2019

Tavis Spencer-Aitkens   Picture: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

Tavis Spencer-Aitkens Picture: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

Archant

A 23-year-old man accused of murdering Ipswich teenager Tavis Spencer-Aitkens has claimed he was implicated in the killing because of a "terrible mistake".

Giving evidence at Ipswich Crown Court Aristote Yenge said he had been wearing a white and black “West Coast” hooded top on the day of the attack on 17-year-old Tavis but had left it in a delivery van that was used to take the alleged attackers to Packard Avenue where the killing took place.

Yenge accepted that from the evidence the court had heard that a person wearing his hooded top went to Packard Avenue but denied it was him.

Cross-examined by Oliver Glasgow QC, prosecuting, Yenge agreed it was a “terrible mistake” that he had been implicated in Tavis’s murder because someone else had been wearing his jumper.

Yenge told the court he had been dealing drugs in the van earlier that day and had left his jumper behind after using it to cover his face because he didn’t like the smell of crack cocaine smoked by the driver.

Yenge, whose DNA matched blood on a seat belt in the van, has claimed he suffered a cut opening a tuna can that day and later handled the belt with the same hand.

Yenge, of Spring Road, Ipswich; Adebayo Amusa, 20, of Sovereign Road, Barking; Callum Plaats, 23, of Ipswich; Isaac Calver, 19, of Firmin Close, Ipswich; Leon Glasgow, 42, of no fixed abode; and a 16-year-old boy all deny murdering Tavis on June 2 last year.

It is alleged the murder was the result of rivalry between the ‘J-Block’ and ‘Neno’ groups for what J-Block perceived to be a loss of respect after a row between two of their friends and two of Tavis’ friends earlier that day.

During his evidence Yenge admitted being a drug dealer but denied he was a member of the “J-Block gang”.

He said that because of the area of Ipswich he came from it was inevitable he would know members of J-Block.

He said that if people saw him with members of J-Block they might think he was a member of the group.

“Because you are seen with them you get put in that category straight away,” he added.

He admitted initially dealing heroin and crack cocaine before moving into the supply of cannabis.

The trial continues.

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