Man denies involvement in killing of Tavis
A man accused of murdering Tavis Spencer-Aitkens has denied having anything to do with the Ipswich teenager’s stabbing.
Aristote Yenge told Ipswich Crown Court it was “fiction” to suggest he was in the van allegedly driven to the scene of the 17-year-old’s death in Packard Avenue on June 2.
Yenge, 23, of Spring Road, Ipswich, admitted being in the van to deal drugs earlier that day – but said he left his sweater behind after using it to mask the smell of crack cocaine smoked by the driver.
Also in the dock and denying murder are 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.
Yenge told the court he went on foot with the boy to Alderman Park to sell cannabis to Amusa, who said his ‘driver’, Glasgow, would take him to Iris Close for his next deal in return for drugs.
An associate of Amusa took the middle seat, said Yenge, who could not recall others entering the rear.
At Iris Close, Yenge said he was “sorting bags of weed” when Glasgow produced a crack pipe.
“I didn’t like the smell, so I took off my jumper and put it round my face,” said Yenge, claiming he forgot the top upon leaving to finish the deal and return on foot to Alderman Park, where he was to meet Calver and accompany him home to watch football.
Not finding him there, Yenge said he went to Calver’s house after stopping at Daniel Schwan’s home, where he frequently stayed, to change jeans before continuing his journey.
At Calver’s address, Yenge said he met the boy and the trio watched the match. All three then went to Mr Schwan’s flat, said Yenge, where a female friend arrived and received news of the killing over the phone.
“I’d never met Tavis, so I didn’t know how to react,” said Yenge, who said he and the boy were later collected by the youth’s mother and taken to her Colchester home.
Yenge, whose DNA matched blood on a seat belt in the van, said he suffered a cut opening a tuna can that day and handled the belt with the same hand.
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.
The trial continues.