Harry Baker murder: Witness says defendant 'slapped blade across my face'

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Harry BakerImage source, Family photo
Image caption,
Six men and a 16-year-old boy are accused of murdering Harry Baker

A woman has told a court how a man accused of murdering a teenager threatened her with a knife.

Ryan Palmer, Peter McCarthy, Raymond Thompson, Leon Clifford, Lewis Evans, Leon Symons and a boy, 16, who cannot be named, deny murdering Harry Baker, 17, at a container port in Barry Docks, Vale of Glamorgan.

Natasha Allt told Newport Crown Court she was "absolutely petrified".

"I shouted to Harry 'run and don't turn around'," she said.

Ms Allt, from Barry, said she had known Harry Baker for about three months before his death. He had often been to Ms Allt's house to sell crack and heroin to her mother, the court heard.

On the night of the murder, Ms Allt said she was walking to a friend's house when she spotted three people hiding in a bush next to her house.

She told the court she recognised Raymond Thompson, Leon Symons and the 16-year-old. Two were wearing ski masks or balaclavas.

"One pulled a knife, he said 'tell your boy to stay off my patch'. He said this while he slapped the slide of the knife's blade across my face. The blade was about a foot long," she told the court.

Ms Allt told the court she saw Mr Baker with his friend Louis Johnson walking towards her and down Little Moors Hill.

Breaking down in tears, Ms Allt told the court: "I shouted to Harry 'run and don't turn around'.

"They had knives out and I just had a bad feeling, I knew they were going to do something."

Image source, Elizabeth Cook
Image caption,
The prosecution said Leon Symons (centre) taunted Harry Baker's friends on the phone after the death

Ms Allt described how three of the defendants, two with knives, were running across the grass towards Mr Baker and Mr Johnson, who she saw had knives.

She told the court one of the defendants shouted: "You're dead men."

Ms Allt said a number of other defendants "came running round the corner. They ran down the hill and were chasing after Harry and his friend".

She said she tried to call Mr Baker's phone, which she believed was answered by Leon Symons.

She told the court: "He said 'Ha ha, your boy's dead. You ain't finding him' and then he hung up."

In cross-examination, Jonathan Rees QC, representing defendant Leon Symons, said: "I put it to you, no men jumped from the bush and no one slapped you in the face with a machete."

Ms Allt replied: "Are you calling me a liar? I have no reason to lie."

Prosecutor Paul Lewis QC asked Ms Allt if she knew Harry Baker was dead during her police interview and how she felt.

"I was traumatised. I was one of the last people to see that boy alive. I am still reliving every moment," said Ms Allt.

The trial continues.