Wounds to murder victim 'caused by more than one knife'
PUBLISHED: 13:44 22 February 2019 | UPDATED: 13:45 22 February 2019
More than one knifeman could have inflicted the fatal wounds to Ipswich stabbing victim Tavis Spencer-Aitkens, it has been claimed.
During his closing speech to the jury in the trial of six defendants accused of murdering 17-year-old Tavis, Oliver Glasgow QC prosecuting said that as the attack only lasted a matter of seconds the 15 stab wounds could have been inflicted by more than one person.
“Consider the number of wounds and how quickly they were inflicted,” said Mr Glasgow.
He said the pathologist who carried out a post-mortem examination on Tavis was unable to say how many knives were used in the attack.
Mr Glasgow told the jury that Tavis had suffered five wounds to his chest, one of which was 10cms deep and another was 15cms deep and three to his back, one of which was 14cms deep.
There were also three knife wounds to his arms and hands and three knife wounds to his legs, one of which was 7cms deep and another which was 18cms deep.
“If you think about how Tavis was chased and then attacked upon the ground it is looks as if he was stabbed before he fell to the floor, which would explain the stab wounds to his back and that once on the ground he tried to protect himself by warding off the knife with his arms and bringing up his legs.
“Evidently whoever attacked him was not willing to let him escape with just a few stab wounds - they wanted to finish the job, which explains the fatal wound which cut through the costal cartilage and passed 13cm into his chest cavity before penetrating his heart,” claimed Mr Glasgow.
“Obviously you cannot tell when that was caused in the sequence but there can be only one reason for stabbing someone so many times and for stabbing them in the chest: you want to cause them as much harm as you possibly can, and whoever wielded the knife that caused the fatal wound succeeded because, from the moment it was inflicted, Tavis was a dead man walking.
“Given the number of wounds, the different types, the different positions, the different widths, the different depths, and the different angles of the knife, were those 15 injuries all inflicted by the same knife?”
Mr Glasgow said the pathologist who carried out a post-mortem examination on Tavis could not tell whether more than one blade was responsible.
“But consider the number of wounds and how quickly they were inflicted – it was over in seconds. Is that the work of one knifeman or more than one knifeman? “
Mr Glasgow said one witness saw more than one person was seen to be delivering blows to Tavis and the others were holding him down.
“No one who was there could have missed what was happening and, if there wasn’t more than one knife, everyone there still knew what was going to happen,” claimed Mr Glasgow.
“That, of course, is why the final coup de grâce was delivered. The use of the bottle that was smashed down onto Tavis’s head tells you all you need to know about his attackers.
“He had been repeatedly stabbed and was defenceless on the ground but, rather than run away satisfied with a job well done, the person who had hold of that bottle went back for one final act of vicious violence.”
Mr Glasgow said the pathologist couldn’t help with whether there were one or two separate injuries to the front of Tavis’s head but he identified a rod or bottle as the likely weapon or weapons to have caused the damage.
Before Ipswich Crown Court 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, a 16-year-old boy, who cannot be identified, and Leon Glasgow, 42, of no fixed address who have all denied murdering Tavis on June 2 last year.
The trial continues.