Evidence against teenager "circumstantial, tenuous and weak", murder trial hears
PUBLISHED: 07:30 26 February 2019
The evidence against a 19-year-old Ipswich man accused of murdering Ipswich teenager Tavis Spencer-Aitkens was "circumstantial, tenuous and weak", it has been claimed.
In his closing speech to the jury on behalf of Isaac Calver, Paul Kelleher QC said the evidence against his client boiled down to a single fingerprint that was found on a bag by the door in the rear of the delivery van that took Tavis’s killers to the scene of the fatal attack in Packard Avenue.
“If it wasn’t for that fingerprint he wouldn’t be in the dock,” said Mr Kelleher.
He said Calver had either travelled in the delivery van to Packard Avenue and had got in and out without leaving any fingerprints which was unlikely or his hand had come into contact with the bag while he was standing next to the van while it was parked at Alderman Park.
He asked the jury to accept this was more likely as none of Calver’s co-defendants had placed him in the van that afternoon.
Mr Kelleher claimed Tavis had been attacked by no more than four people and none of them was Calver.
Before Ipswich Crown Court with Calver, of Firmin Close, Ipswich, are Aristote Yenge, 23, of Spring Road, Ipswich, Adebayo Amusa, 20, of Sovereign Road, Barking, Callum Plaats, 23, of Ipswich, a 16-year-old boy, who can’t be identified, and Leon Glasgow, 42, of no fixed address. They all deny murdering Tavis on June 2.
In his speech to the jury David Bentley QC for the 16-year-old boy claimed his client was weighing out drugs in a flat on the opposite side of the town at the time of the fatal attack.
He said the teenager accepted he had been in the van that was used to take Tavis’s killers to the scene of the fatal attack but was “adamant” he had got out of the vehicle in Iris Close and hadn’t been in it when it went to Packard Avenue.
Mr Bentley said the boy collected drugs from a dealer in Iris Close and then went to a nearby flat where he weighed out the drugs.
Mr Bentley said the boy had been at the flat between 4.30 to 6pm and hadn’t been in Packard Avenue shortly before 5pm when the fatal stabbing took place.
Mr Bentley claimed there was no clear identification evidence from witnesses to link his client with the attack in Packard Avenue or Yeoman Close where the knife used in the attack was thrown into the river.
Mr Bentley said the prosecution had placed a lot of emphasis on a confrontation between his client and co-defendant Aristote Yenge and two members of the rival Neno gang in Ipswich town centre as being behind the attack on Tavis.
However, Mr Bentley claimed that rather than being a “gang flare up” the incident was because the 16-year-old had shown too much interest in one of the other men’s girlfriends.
Mr Bentley said the incident in the town centre was a “red herring” as it hadn’t involved Tavis and didn’t provide his client with a motive for attacking Tavis.
He said that on the afternoon of the attack on Tavis the 16-year-old had cut his finger and had then been given a lift to Iris Close in the delivery van that went on to take Tavis’s killers to Packard Avenue and that would explain why his blood was found in the van.
The case continues.