Suffolk

Tavis Spencer-Aitkens: Boy, 16, had 'left gang' before death

Tavis Spencer Aitkens Image copyright Suffolk Police
Image caption Tavis Spencer-Aitkens, 17, died in hospital after being stabbed 15 times

A 16-year-old boy charged with the murder of a teenager had left a gang believed to be behind the killing, a court heard.

Tavis Spencer-Aitkens, 17, was stabbed 15 times and hit over the head with a bottle on 2 June in Ipswich.

Asked whether he had "anything to do" with Tavis's murder, the boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, replied: "No."

At Ipswich Crown Court, the boy and five men deny murder.

The teenager said he dealt in Class A drugs, and had been in a van that was believed to have later carried Tavis's killers, as he was given a lift to "reload" on crack cocaine from his supplier.

But he denied being in the van at the time of the attack.

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

The boy said he was "not specifically" involved in activities with J Block, the group named after the Jubilee Park area of Ipswich, at the time of Tavis's death.

The prosecution says Tavis was killed in revenge for trouble that flared between J-Block and a gang from the IP3 postcode area of Ipswich.

'Gang, violence, drug'

Responding to questions from David Bentley QC, the boy said he was more focused on music than the "criminal activities" of J-Block.

"The purpose of that was to try to do something legit," he said. "To try to make something of ourselves."

Mr Bentley asked: "In what world was that?"

The boy replied: "In the real world. Not the gang, violence, drug world."

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

The boy denied that he and another defendant, Aristote Yenge, had been "humiliated" hours before Tavis's death after an altercation outside cosmetics shop Lush in Ipswich.

He said he had been out the night before and danced with a woman, whose boyfriend confronted him the following day.

However, Mr Yenge and the boy took refuge in the shop to avoid the dispute escalating because Mr Yenge was carrying cannabis and they had seen a plain-clothes police officer nearby, the court heard.

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, 23, of no fixed abode, and the boy all deny murder.

The trial continues.

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