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Witness tells court gang 'held down Tavis as he was stabbed'

PUBLISHED: 13:20 09 January 2019 | UPDATED: 13:38 09 January 2019

Tavis Spencer-Aitkens   Pictire: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

Tavis Spencer-Aitkens Pictire: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

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A witness in the Tavis Spencer-Aitkens murder trial has described seeing a group of hooded youths jump on the teenager on the day he was stabbed.

Packard Avenue in Ipswich   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNPackard Avenue in Ipswich Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The witness told a jury at Ipswich Crown Court that he was at a house in Packard Avenue, Ipswich on the afternoon of June 2 when he saw 17-year-old Tavis run past the window and slip over.

He described seeing Tavis crawl over a driveway before three or four males with their hoods up jumped on him and then lay on him to keep him down.

The witness, who cannot be identified, said he saw at least two of the males “thumping” Tavis and demonstrated what he saw by punching his fist forward level with his side.

“I think it was three or four times,” he added.

He told the court that Tavis had been lying on his side unable to do anything during the attack, which he estimated lasted a minute.

He described seeing some of Tavis’s attackers getting up and running off, then seeing one of them turn to leave but then turn back and “whack” Tavis over the head with a wine bottle which “exploded”.

When the witness went outside he saw Tavis half way down the road and described him as “swaying”.

He said he hadn’t realised Tavis had been stabbed until he noticed some blood near one of Tavis’ trainers which he’d left behind.

Before the 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 named for legal reasons and Leon Glasgow, 42, of no fixed address.They all deny murdering Tavis, of Pownall Road, Ipswich on June 2 last year.

Oliver Glasgow QC, prosecuting, has alleged the attack on Tavis was the result of rivalry between the “J-Block” group, which took its name from Jubilee Park area of Ipswich where they lived, and the “Neno” group who came from the Nacton area of the town, for what “J-Block” perceived to be a loss of respect following a row between two of their friends and two of Tavis’ friends earlier on the day in question.

On that occasion two members of “Neno” had confronted two members of “J-Block” in Ipswich town centre resulting in the two “J-Block” members taking refuge in a shop.

Mr Glasgow told the court the fact that members of “Neno” had confronted the “J-Block” members so close to their home turf and the fact that the “J-Block” members had run and hidden rather than stood their ground gave the “moral victory” to “Neno”.

He claimed that within a couple of hours members of “J-Block” had been rounded up, they had got hold of a van and a driver and set off for the Nacton area of Ipswich looking for a member or members of “Neno” to exact revenge.

On that afternoon Tavis had visited his family home in Packard Avenue and had something to eat before setting of to see a friend to help him rebuild a car.

Later that afternoon he returned to the house to pick up some tools and when he left he was in good spirits.

“That was the last time his family were to see him alive and well. Later that afternoon, only yards from where his family live, Tavis was attacked by a group of young men,” said Mr Glasgow.

“That group had travelled to the area where Tavis lived seeking revenge for what they perceived to be a loss of respect; that loss of respect had been caused when two of their friends had had a row with two of Tavis’s friends earlier that day.

“The defendants settled the score by smashing a bottle over Tavis’s head and stabbing him 15 times.”

The trial continues.

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