Teenager was killed in 'revenge attack' after a row outside McDonalds, court hears

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A 16-year-old schoolboy was stabbed to death with a combat-style knife by a boy aged 14 in a "revenge" attack lasting less than seven seconds, a murder trial has heard.

Jurors were told Rohan Shand, known as Fred, was blamed by his alleged killers after one of their friends was injured in a dispute between schoolboys outside a branch of McDonald's the previous day.

Opening the Crown's case on Wednesday, Jane Bickerstaff KC alleged that a 14-year-old boy had stabbed Fred after riding to the scene of the attack on an electric scooter with a 16-year-old accomplice.

The boys, now aged 15 and 17, both deny murdering Fred close to a war memorial on Harborough Road, Northampton.

CCTV was played in court, which is alleged to show the moment the victim was stabbed on March 22 at 3.34pm.

Ms Bickerstaff said of the defendants: "These two people admit they were the two people facing Fred.

"He was a student at Kingsthorpe College and at the time of the attack on him he had just left school.

"He was wearing his uniform and he was in company with his friend, who will be giving eye-witness evidence to you."

Explaining that the younger defendant was the boy alleged to have used a knife to stab Fred, Ms Bickerstaff said: "It's the prosecution allegation that this is a joint enterprise offence between these two defendants.

"It basically means that we allege they were in it together.

"You will be shown Snapchat messages between the pair as they planned the attack."

The jury was told the scooter was hired using the details of the younger defendant's mother and that its telematics had allowed its route to be tracked.

Ms Bickerstaff added that police retrieved a mobile phone from the older defendant shortly after the incident, which she said showed the killing was linked to an altercation on March 21.

The prosecutor said: "The telephone evidence that comes from that phone pertaining to (the older defendant) reveals that he was the mastermind behind the attack, and that this was a retributive, planned, anticipated violent attack on Fred in the light of a dispute between local schoolboys from the previous afternoon."

The two alleged killers, who cannot be named because of their age, believed that Fred "was at the forefront of the group responsible" for an injury caused to their friend.

Jurors were told the defendants communicated via a chat group with the injured friend on the evening of March 21, making references to the need for a balaclava and weapons, referred to as "tools".

Ms Bickerstaff alleged: "These two defendants chatted directly about a plan to go first to Kingsthorpe College, and if he's not there, get the tools and find him.

"What happened then on the 22nd March is captured on CCTV footage that you will see.

"It seems as if that exact plan that they talked about was put into action.

"Both defendants can be seen on the CCTV footage dressed in black."

The younger youth was wearing a balaclava, the court heard, while his alleged accomplice was wearing a surgical mask.

The prosecution's KC continued: "There was a confrontation near to The Cock Hotel on Harborough Road, a busy public thoroughfare.

"Fred and (the older defendant) come together for just a second or two.

"It appears as if there was at least some pushing and blows may have been exchanged.

"It is not absolutely clear from the CCTV."

Ms Bickerstaff said CCTV evidence from a dash cam and three CCTV cameras had captured parts of the incident, showing Fred taking his belt of his trousers and appearing to "whip it out in front of himself".

Flowers were left by friends and family at the war memorial on Harborough Road following Fred's death. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The Crown's barrister said: "At this point (the younger defendant), all in black, comes into view of the CCTV armed with a large combat-style knife.

"He advances towards Fred Shand.

"He is immediately followed by, and backed up by (the older defendant) who had got straight up off the floor.

"Fred Shand tries to ward him off by raising the belt but turns and tries to run.

"He comes up against a tree and (the younger defendant's) right arm can be seen to swing.

"The entire incident you will see on CCTV from when they came together to when Fred was stabbed took under seven seconds."

The jury at Northampton Crown Court have been told the younger defendant has admitted unlawful possession of a knife.

The trial continues.

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