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25th Jan, 2022

Rugby teens accused of Coventry knife attack ‘intended to kill’ victim, jury told

Editorial Correspondent 20th Oct, 2021 Updated: 20th Oct, 2021

A FEROCIOUS knife attack in a Coventry street was carried out by two Rugby teenagers with ‘only one motive’ – to kill their innocent victim, it has been alleged.

And when they saw their badly-injured victim trying to get help at a nearby take-away, they ‘went for him again’ in a bid to finish him off, a jury has been told.

The two teenagers have pleaded not guilty at Warwick Crown Court to the attempted murder of a man just yards from Coventry Central police station.

One of them, a 17-year-old from Rugby who cannot be named because of his age, has admitted an alternative offence of wounding with intent.

But that has been rejected by the prosecution who maintain the intention of the 17-year-old and his co-defendant Charley Taylor, 19, of Ennerdale, Rugby, was to kill.

As the trial began, Judge Peter Cooke warned the jury: “You are going to see CCTV footage of the episode in which (the victim) was left severely injured.

“You are also going to be seeing body-worn footage of the aftermath, and you will see the state (the victim) was in and the efforts of officers to tend to his wounds.

“But it is vital to set aside your emotional reaction. What we are looking for from you is that you put aside emotion and put forward a clear-headed analysis of the evidence.”

And prosecutor Graeme Simpson told them: “You will see and hear things you may well find distressing and shocking.

“We say what these two defendants did to (the victim) amounts to attempted murder.

“There is no dispute that these two attacked (the victim), and there is no dispute he was stabbed. But they are guilty of attempted murder if there was an intention to kill.”

Mr Simpson said the stabbing took place on the evening of February 25 this year in the centre of Coventry in New Union Street ‘almost within sight of the police station.’

Taylor and the 17-year-old were staying at the Hylands Hotel, where CCTV showed they both appeared to be intoxicated and the 17-year-old was inhaling nitrous oxide from a balloon.

Tracked by a variety of street and business CCTV cameras, they were seen trying car doors as they headed to New Union Street and then into Greyfriars Lane where there was ‘some interaction’ between them and the occupants of a white Range Rover.

They walked away, but then ran back and tried to open the doors as the Range Rover pulled away, and they chased after it before giving up and returning to Greyfriars Lane.

“In a very short space of time (the victim), who is in his 20s, appears from round the corner, making his way home after going to the shops to buy food.

“The defendants were on the opposite side of the road, and they saw him. He was a complete stranger to them, and they approached him and Charley Taylor said ‘We’re going to kill you,’ and they attacked him.

“It very quickly became a joint attack, and it was over within 30 seconds.

“Charley Taylor produced a knife and he stabbed the victim in the gut, and (the 17-year-old) also produced a knife and stabbed him. He was stabbed at least four times.”

One of the knives was described as a combat-style knife, with a 14cm serrated blade, which was later recovered from a bush and found to have the victim’s blood and Taylor’s DNA on it.

After the attack, the 17-year-old picked up the man’s bag of shopping as their victim fled, chased by Taylor.

Badly injured and bleeding heavily, the victim ran into New Union Street where he first went into the Coventry Kebab House to seek assistance – only to be turned away and pointed in the direction of the nearby police station.

He then made it to the Taste of Mexico take-away, where a member of staff went outside to phone for an ambulance.

The defendants appeared and ran towards the victim, who took refuge inside and locked the door as they repeatedly banged on the window and door shouting threats that they would kill him.

Taylor then spotted the staff member on the phone and ran towards him, threatening him.

Meanwhile someone at the police station had heard the commotion and raised the alarm, and officers arrested Taylor at the scene, although the 17-year-old evaded capture and made his way to the railway station to return to Rugby.

The victim was given emergency first aid by officers using a medical kit from the Taste of Mexico as he lay on the ground outside, screaming in agony as pressure was placed on one of his wounds.

When he was later interviewed, Taylor said he did not know why he was in Coventry or how he got there, but he denied having a knife or knowing his co-defendant had one, and denied attacking the victim.

It took some time to trace the 17-year-old, and after his arrest on March 19 he replied ‘no comment’ to all questions.

Mr Simpson added: “We say this was a joint attack with a joint purpose, and that both young men had knives, and both used them to stab the victim.

“They then saw him again outside the take-away and both went for him again. We say they quite simply wanted to finish him off – and they had only one motive, and that was to kill him.”

Of the 17-year-old’s guilty plea to wounding, Mr Simpson commented: “Because of the ferocity of the attack and the number of wounds to the body, we say he had only one intention, to kill (the victim), and it’s purely by good fortune that he failed.”

He pointed out that Taylor now admits taking part in the attack, but says they had agreed to rob their victim and that he did not know the 17-year-old had a knife. The trial continues.

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