Two teenagers ‘guilty’ of manslaughter of Newcastle schoolboy Gordon Gault

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A jury at Newcastle Crown Court has found two teenagers guilty of the manslaughter of 14-year-old schoolboy Gordon Gault in the city’s Westend in November 2022.

Carlos Neto, 18, and Lawson Natty, 18, were found not guilty of his murder.

The two men were also found guilty of the unlawful wounding of another boy after being found not guilty of wounding him with intent.

Benedict Mbala, 18, Daniel Lacerda, 18, and two boys aged 16 and 17 were all found not guilty of all charges brought against them.

Gordon's mother said the 'family will never get over Gordon’s death.' Credit: Northumbria Police

Leaving court, Gordon Gault’s mother, Dionne Barrett said she was "devastated."

In a statement she paid tribute to her son saying he was a 'big softy' and had a 'heart of gold.'

Ms Barrett said: “We as a family will never get over Gordon’s death.

“To those who didn’t know Gordon he was a practical joker, always laughing and had a heart of gold.

“Life will simply never be the same without him. It breaks my heart that I will never get to hear him say ‘I love you Mam’ again."

Following the trial's conclusion, the Senior Investigating Officer Detective Chief Inspector Matt Steel, of Northumbria Police, said: “This is an extremely tragic case in which a teenager, with his life ahead of him, had his future taken away.

“Our thoughts very much remain with Gordon’s loved ones, who have been left devastated by their loss. We will continue to support them at this extremely difficult time.

“Following this tragedy, officers have worked tirelessly for Gordon and his family. I thank them for their dedication and commitment."

He continued: “Those convicted had a choice, they chose violence. Their lives and those of the people who care about them have also been changed by the decisions they made.

“That should act as a lesson to anyone who goes out with a weapon, involves themselves in violence or encourages other to do so.”

L-R Lawson Natty and Carlos Neto were both found guilty of Gordon Gault's manslaughter and guilty of unlawful wounding of another boy. Credit: Northumbria Police

Gordon Gault was 14 when he was stabbed by Carlos Neto with a machete in the Elswick area of Newcastle on 9 November 2022, before dying six days later in hospital.

Neto told the jury he had acted in self defence when using the machete.

During the trial, the jury heard how the stabbing came amidst the backdrop of tit for tat violence between a number of teenagers. 

The court heard Carlos Neto had allegedly been stabbed in the buttocks weeks before the incident and Benedict Mbala had been attacked on the morning Gordon was stabbed, with a video being posted on social media of the assault.

The prosecution said Neto, Mbala and the other defendants entered Elswick Park, on the night of the stabbing, seeking revenge.

The court heard the boys hid behind the West End Women’s and Girl’s Centre near the northern entrance of the park, scouting out potential targets.

Meanwhile, back at Sovereign Place, north of the park, it appeared Gordon Gault and his friends had become aware that the defendants were in the park.

CCTV played during the trial, showed Gordon Gault retrieving a metal baseball bat from a bush and some blue latex gloves. He was then shown walking towards the north entrance of the park with his friends who were riding bikes. 

As three of Gordon’s friends rode their bikes through the park, CCTV at the women’s centre showed the defendants watching them, before moving towards the North East entrance of the park to lay in wait.

The jury was shown CCTV, taken minutes later, of Gordon and his friends gathering on Elswick Road, north of the park, and then splitting up into three smaller groups. Each taking a different route to the south end of the park.

Gordon Gault was seen on CCTV riding pillion on the back of an e-bike, with his friend, down Beech Grove Road towards Westmoreland Road, south of the park.

The jury was told the police believe Carlos Neto caught Gordon Gault unawares near a bus stop on Westmoreland Road. The jury was told he stabbed Gordon in his arm with a machete, severing vital blood vessels and causing extensive bleeding.

Neto told the jury he acted in self defence.

As Gordon was taken back to Sovereign Place on the bike, he left a trail of blood and dropped the baseball bat. When he arrived in Sovereign Place, CCTV showed him slumping off the bike and medics were then called to the scene.

Meanwhile, back in Brunel Terrace, just off Westmoreland Road, a fight ensued between the remaining teenagers armed with machetes, knives and a mallet.

The jury was told another boy was slashed by Carlos Neto’s machete, but he survived.

Again Neto told the jury he acted in self defence. The fight broke off when a witness drove her car between the youths.

Gordon Gault died in hospital on the 15 November 2022 and two days later, the jury heard, two of the accused tried to destroy the machetes and clothing worn on the night of the stabbing in a wooded area nearby, but failed as they unsuccessfully used vegetable oil.

One of the weapons Northumbria Police recovered during the investigation Credit: Northumbria Police

In the weeks after Gordon’s death, the jury heard the defendants had written drill rap lyrics celebrating what had happened.

In one entry, Carlos Neto allegedly wrote: “I’m a psychopath and I love it. Murder case and I bust it”, before adding: “How many man got juiced by my Rambo?” The court heard that this meant ‘how many people were stabbed by his Rambo knife’?

The jury was told he then referred directly to Gordon Gault, by writing: “He got chinged, but I heard he survived, couldn’t open his eyes and the ting got switched off”, which the prosecution said translated to ‘he got stabbed, and although he initially survived, he never woke up again and his life support machine was turned off’. In his defence he told the jury the lyrics were an “exaggeration” and not reality.

From Natty, the jury heard he had allegedly written a lyric, which said: "Two got splashed in a day, we should have sent both of them to hell”. Again, he told the jury his lyrics were “exaggerations” not the reality.

Carlos Neto and Lawson Natty will be sentenced on the 8 March.

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