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Teenage defendant 'weighing drugs' at time of fatal stabbing, court told

PUBLISHED: 13:08 25 February 2019

Tavis Spencer-Aitkens   Pictire: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

Tavis Spencer-Aitkens Pictire: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

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A 16-year-old accused of murdering Tavis Spencer-Aitkens was weighing out drugs in a flat on the opposite side of Ipswich at the time of the fatal attack, it has been claimed.

The place in Packard Avenue, Ipswich, where Tavis Spencer-Aitkens died.   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNThe place in Packard Avenue, Ipswich, where Tavis Spencer-Aitkens died. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

In his closing speech to the jury on behalf of the teenager, David Bentley QC said his client 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 on to Packard Avenue.

Mr Bentley said the 16-year-old, who can’t be identified because of his age, had collected drugs from a dealer in a car in Iris Close and had then gone to a nearby flat where he weighed them out.

Mr Bentley said the boy had been at the flat between 4.30pm to 6pm and hadn’t been in Packard Avenue shortly before 5pm when 17-year-old Tavis was fatally stabbed.

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 - if anything the evidence pointed away from him being involved.

Tributes left in memory to Tavis Spencer Aitkens at the spot in Packard Avenue where he died. Picture: SARAH LUCY  BROWNTributes left in memory to Tavis Spencer Aitkens at the spot in Packard Avenue where he died. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

He said the boy had been “astonishingly frank” when he was giving evidence about being a class A drug dealer and it was hard not to be shocked that someone so young should be dealing drugs.

He said the boy admitted being a former member of the J Block gang which is alleged to have behind the attack in Tavis but claimed he had started to move away from that lifestyle and was concentrating on a music career.

Mr Bentley said the prosecution had put 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 there was also no forensic evidence linking his client to a knife found at the home of one of his co-defendants or the knife found in the river.

Although there was a lot of CCTV evidence in the case there was none that linked the 16-year-old to the scene of the attack.

He said that on the afternoon of the attack on Tavis the 16-year-old had cut his finger while doing pull ups in Alderman Park.

He 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.

“There is an absence of hard evidence from the prosecution to link him to the terrible attack on Tavis,” said Mr Bentley.

Before Ipswich Crown Court with the 16-year-old boy 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 have all denied murdering Tavis on June 2.

The case continues.

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