Boy stabbed to death after denying gang membership, court told

A 15-year-old aspiring musician was chased by a group of youths and stabbed to death after denying membership of a local “Red Pitch” gang, a court has heard.

Tashaun Aird was knifed nine times in the chest and back after he and his friends fled through a Hackney park on the evening of May 1, the Old Bailey was told.

A youth, aged 15, who allegedly stabbed him, is on trial for murder along with Romaine Williams-Reid, 18, and another 15-year-old boy.

A fourth defendant, 16-year-old Caden Stewart, became unwell in custody while awaiting trial and was transferred to hospital where he died in June, the Old Bailey heard.

Prosecutor Julian Evans said Tashaun had been socialising with friends in Somerford Gardens, in Hackney, north east London, before the attack.

Earlier that day, Tashaun had allegedly told Williams-Reid that he was not part of the Red Pitch Hackney-based gang.

Williams-Reid then spoke to Caden who set off in an Uber taxi with the other defendants, the court heard.

Mr Evans said Williams-Reid had been keeping watch on Tashaun and his friends before the others arrived all “intent on violence”.

Tashaun Aird death
The scene at Somerford Grove in Hackney, east London, Tashaun Aird collapsed and died (Isabel Infantes/PA)

Tashaun and his group rapidly dispersed as the defendants approached, it was claimed.

The two 15-year-old defendants ran after Tashaun and one of them repeatedly “lunged” at him with a weapon, jurors heard.

Meanwhile, Caden chased after a 16-year-old boy and stabbed him in the back before Williams-Reid took his bicycle, the court was told.

Tashaun managed to get out of the park but was stabbed again by the same 15-year-old, Mr Evans said.

The three youths made off in the Uber and Williams-Reid cycled away on the injured boy’s bike, it was claimed.

The 16-year-old victim, bleeding from a wound in his back, sought help in a nearby shop and went on to make a full recovery, jurors were told.

Tashaun managed to walk a short distance before he collapsed face-down on the floor.

He was pronounced dead 45 minutes later, despite efforts of police and paramedics.

A post-mortem examination revealed he had nine wounds, with a fatal 11cm deep stab wound to the chest.

Mr Evans told jurors that it was clear from CCTV footage that a group of four youths had advanced on Tashaun and his friends in Somerford Gardens.

He said: “There can be no doubt that Tashaun was chased and attacked inside the park by members of that group. During the course of that attack, he was stabbed with a knife or some other bladed weapon.

“It is the prosecution case that between them, those four youths approached Somerford Gardens together as a group. They were intent on serious, if not fatal violence. At least two of them were armed with knives or other bladed weapons.”

Williams-Reid, from Romford, east London, and two 15-year-old boys have denied murder, wounding with intent and possession of a knife.

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