Trial begins of seven men accused of murdering 17-year-old Harry Baker

Harry Baker was found dead in August 2019 and was subject to a "brutal murder", the court heard

The trial of seven men accused murdering teenager Harry Baker has begun at Newport Crown Court. 

Leon Clifford, Ryan Palmer, Leon Symons, Peter McCarthy, a 17-year-old who cannot be named for legal reasons, Lewis Evans and Raymond Thompson have all pleaded not guilty to murdering the 17-year-old at Barry Docks in August 2019.

Leon Clifford has admitted manslaughter, but the prosecution argued this does not reflect his criminality - and that he is guilty of murder.

The Crown Prosecution Service begun delivering its account of how and why Harry Baker’s life came to an abrupt end almost 18 months ago.

The court heard how the teenager was subjected to a “swift, bloody and merciless attack” before his body was discovered in Barry Docks in the early hours of Wednesday 28 August 2019. 

The body of Harry Baker was found in Barry Docks in August 2019

The prosecution told the jury that Harry “had been repeatedly stabbed” and his “clothing stripped from his body.” He was “brutally murdered...ruthlessly hunted down, by vicious people,” Paul Lewis QC continued. 

Harry Baker’s parents Emma and Peter were in court as Paul Lewis QC described the details of their son's death.

It is the prosecution’s case that Harry Baker and his friend Louis Johnson were in Barry on the evening of 27 August 2019. They were both first ambushed and attacked in Little Moors Hill, the court heard. The pair managed to run away but were, the prosecution states, “chased by an armed and deadly gang.” 

It is then, the court heard, that Harry Baker attempted to escape by taking refuge in Barry docks. The prosecution said he climbed over a fence into a compound at the Intermodal Terminal, but “his killers were determined” and followed him into the compound where Harry Baker was killed and “died alone.”

The jury was told that the “motive for the hunt and subsequent attack was, in a word, drugs.”

The prosecution argue Harry and a friend were chased through Barry town and into the docks area by a "vicious gang"

Harry Baker was from Cardiff but had started selling hard drugs in Barry and others took umbrage at this, as he had come onto “their turf,” Paul Lewis QC explained. 

All seven of the defendants are accused of the murder of Harry Baker. The Prosecution says, “some in the dock played a different role to others.”

The jury were told that while much of the chase of Harry Baker and Louis Johnson is captured on CCTV, the exact moment Harry was killed is not.

They argued all of the defendants either attacked or provided support and encouraged those who did - and therefore they are all guilty of Harry’s murder. This “murderous gang...all had the same intention, that Harry Baker must die or else suffer serious harm,” the court was told.