Gang rivalry led to stabbing of Ipswich teenager, court hears

Boy, 16, deines being in van with fellow gang members when it drove to the scene of Tavis Spencer-A

Boy, 16, deines being in van with fellow gang members when it drove to the scene of Tavis Spencer-Aitkens' stabbing Picture: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY - Credit: Archant

The jury in the trial of six defendants accused of murdering Ipswich teenager Tavis Spencer-Aitkens has been hearing evidence about gang rivalry in Ipswich.

The youngest defendant, who is 16, told the court that there was rivalry between the J-Block gang from the Jubilee Park area of the town and the Neno gang from the Nacton IP3 postcode.

Cross-examined by prosecution counsel Oliver Glasgow QC, the teenager, who cannot be identified because of his age, accepted that rivalry between the two gangs was significant to the trial and had led to Tavis being killed.

He told the court he was a former member of J-Block and at one time had played a part in that rivalry.

However, he claimed he wasn’t a J-Block member at the time of Tavis’s death on June 2 last year and had no interest in harming a Neno member.

He said the J Block gang had initially been a group of young people from the Jubilee Park area who spent time together and had then been referred to over a period of time as J-Block by other people.

He accepted that rivalry between J-Block and other areas of Ipswich started as arguments over drug dealing territory and had involved fighting with weapons, such as bottles.

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He accepted that if a rival group started dealing drugs in J-Block’s area they would be chased off or their drugs stolen.

In the dock with the 16-year-old are Aristote Yenge, 23, of Spring Road, Ipswich, Adebayo Amusa, 20, of Sovereign Road, Barking, Callum Plaats, 23, of Ipswich, Isaac Calver, 19, of Firmin Close, Ipswich, and Leon Glasgow, 42, of no fixed address.

They all deny murdering Tavis in Packard Avenue, Ipswich, on June 2.

It has been alleged the attack on Tavis was the result of rivalry between the J-Block and Neno gangs for what J-Block perceived to be a loss of respect following a row between the 16-year-old defendant and Yenge and two of Tavis’s friends earlier on the day in question during a confrontation in Ipswich town centre.

The trial continues.

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