Gordon Gault machete killers jailed for total of 11 years 10 months

Two men have been sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court for a total of 11 years and 10 months in a young offenders institute collectively after being found guilty of the manslaughter of Newcastle schoolboy, Gordon Gault, in November 2022.

Carlos Neto, 18, and his 'best friend' Lawson Natty, also 18, were given nine years, two months, and two years eight months respectively for their part in the attack, which also saw another boy unlawfully wounded. They'll serve their sentences in a young offenders institute.

Neto and Natty were found not guilty of murder, but guilty of manslaughter on 15 January. Four other teenagers were found not guilty of murder and acquitted at the same time.

Six other youths from Gordon’s group pleaded guilty to affray during a connected trial.

Gordon Gault was just 14 when he was stabbed with a machete in the West End of Newcastle on the 9 November 2022. Six days later he passed away in hospital with his mum by his bedside.

Gordon Gault was 14-years-old when he died in hospital, after being stabbed with a machete six days earlier. Credit: Family photo

When passing sentence, Mr Justice Martin Spencer commented on the dangers and the prevalence of knife crime.

He said: "This is what is liable to happen when young people arm themselves with these kinds of weapons.

“Too many young lives have been lost as a result [of knife crime] and other lives ruined in consequence. ..Too many of these types of cases are appearing in court."

Mr Justice Martin Spencer passing sentence

During the seven week trial, the court heard how two gangs were involved in a bitter feud, which involved tit-for-tat violence.

Carlos Neto was allegedly stabbed in the buttocks in the weeks leading up to the incident. The jury heard he wanted revenge and so led his gang into Elswick Park, in the city’s West End, to seek out potential targets to attack.

The gang was armed with machetes, which the jury heard had been bought online by Lawson Natty, and other weapons.

Two machetes recovered by police Credit: Northumbria Police

Gordon Gault, who the jury heard was armed with a baseball bat, was struck by Neto’s machete near a bus stop in Westmorland Road, as he rode pillion on an e-bike. Another boy was also slashed with the machete, before a witness broke up the ensuing fight with her car.

As Carlos Neto and Lawson Natty fled the scene, CCTV showed Neto allegedly re-enacting how he had stabbed Gordon, according to the prosecution.

After failing to destroy the evidence in nearby woods, including the machetes, Carlos Neto and Lawson Natty were arrested several months later, following a long and painstaking police investigation that saw officers plough through 3,200 hours of CCTV footage, take more than 1,000 statements and arrest 21 people in connection to the incident.

During his police interview, Carlos Neto was asked: “Are you responsible for the death of Gordon Gault?” to which he replied: “No”.

He also denied causing the fatal injury to Gordon or being present when the injury was caused.

Carlos Neto lies to police during interview about delivering the killing blow to Gordon Gault

Police found a number of chat logs and rap lyrics which made reference to the case. In one lyric, Lawson Natty was heard rapping “I bust that case. I ain’t going to jail”.

Another from Carlos Neto heard him rap “I’m a psychopath and I love it, murder case and I bust it”.

Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Chief Inspector Matt Steel, of Northumbria Police, told ITV News: “Carlos Neto talking about himself as the ‘Angel of Death’ is one of the most chilling things I’ve ever seen and is really impactive for me and shows the lack of remorse from him.

“Likewise, Lawson Natty and the drill lyrics, the music and rapping about an incident, in which a 14 year old has lost his life in truly tragic circumstances, it’s totally unacceptable and shouldn’t be glorified in any point, never mind for the use of making a music video.”

Gordon Gault was killed aged just 14 Credit: Family photos/ITV News

When asked what he would say to Gordon Gault’s mother, who told ITV News in January that she was “devastated” at the manslaughter verdicts and recently said she felt her long fight for justice had “been for nothing”, he said he understood she would be “disappointed”.

He added: “Regardless of the result, which I can’t change for her, and I know she will be disappointed, she knows the facts. She knows what happened before, she knows what happened during that incident and what happened afterwards and I hope that gives her some closure, and the comprehensive investigation has led her to a position where she’s fully informed on, tragically, the final hours of Gordon’s life and what led to it.”