Suffolk

Tavis Spencer-Aitkens: Murder accused 'had lost sweater'

Tavis Spencer Aitkens Image copyright Family Photo
Image caption Tavis Spencer-Aitkens, 17, was stabbed 15 times

A man charged with murdering a teenager says he had misplaced a sweater which was later seen being worn at the time of the killing.

Tavis Spencer-Aitkens, 17, died after he was stabbed 15 times and hit on the head with a bottle in Ipswich in June.

Aristote Yenge, 23, of no fixed address, had worn the distinctive garment earlier on 2 June, but claimed someone else then put it on.

At Ipswich Crown Court, five men and a 16-year-old boy deny murder.

'I am very unfortunate'

Under cross-examination by the prosecution, Mr Yenge told the court he was not a gangster and had not been involved in the killing.

Image caption Left to right: Aristote Yenge, 23; Adebayo Amusa, 20; Callum Plaats, 23; Isaac Calver, 19; Leon Glasgow, 42, and the 16-year-old boy (front) who cannot be named

He denied being in the van prosecutors say was driven to the scene of Tavis's murder to settle a score between two rival gangs.

Mr Yenge said he had been in the van earlier in the day to deal drugs, but mistakenly left his sweater behind when he got out, later suggesting someone else had been wearing it when Tavis was killed.

Prosecutor Oliver Glasgow QC asked him: "So it was all a terrible mistake was it?"

Mr Yenge replied: "I am very unfortunate."

Image caption Tavis was attacked in the Nacton estate area of Ipswich

While in prison he had heard a name of someone he believed could have been wearing the sweater, he said.

Mr Glasgow urged him to "give the name of the killer to the police".

Later Mr Yenge said he wasn't a gangster, but a musician trying to do something positive.

He admitted being photographed making a "J sign" used by members of the J-Block gang, from the Jubilee Park area of Ipswich.

"I'm affiliated with people who are in the gang. I'm not a member," he said.

Image caption Flowers and messages of condolence were left at a shrine where Tavis was stabbed 15 times

The prosecution says Tavis was killed in revenge for trouble that flared between two rival groups.

The jury has already heard Tavis was friends with a group which called themselves Neno or The Three - after the IP3 postcode of Ipswich.

His attackers, according to the prosecution, were from a group known as J-Block.

Adebayo Amusa, 20, of Barking, east London; Callum Plaats, 23, of Ipswich; Leon Glasgow, 42, of no fixed address; Isaac Calver, 19, of Ipswich; Mr Yenge, and the boy all deny murder.

The trial continues.

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