Wednesday, 24 Apr 2024

Killer seen ‘laughing’ before plunging ‘samurai sword’ into man’s back

A rival in the street brutally murdered a 21-year-old man as the killer was seen “laughing” before stabbing the man with a “samurai sword”. Javell Morgan, 21, was murdered last summer in Moss Side when two rival outfits from West Yorkshire clashed in a deadly feud.

A gun was fired as the two rival Huddersfield groups confronted each other.

Javell died after being stabbed in the back with a “samurai sword” by 21-year-old Jacob Doughty, reported Manchester Evening News.

According to a witness, Doughty was reportedly “laughing” when he killed Javell and was seen hugging and shaking hands after.

He was found guilty of murder following a trial at Manchester Crown Court.

Deontay Crosfield, 22, who became “entangled” with Javell in a fracas before he was killed, was also convicted of murder.

Three other young men, Byron Goodhall, 23, Simeon Baptiste, 24, and Darius Blackburn, 21, also stood trial and were found not guilty of murder and manslaughter.

Three other men then went on trial accused of attempting to murder Mr Baptiste in the same incident.

Following a separate trial, Mikyle Bucknor, 19 and Karmarni Batler, 20, who were both armed with guns, were convicted of attempted murder. Harlan Richards, 19, was found not guilty of attempted murder.

The worrying details of the case were reported for the first time as the reporting restrictions were lifted at the conclusion of the second of two crown court trials.

The seven-week murder trial began in February and concluded on April 14. Some jurors wept as the unanimous verdicts were announced in court.

Trial judge Suzanne Goddard KC excused them from jury service again if they were summonsed.

At the murder trial, prosecutor John Elvidge KC told how the killing unfolded at a street party held on Claremont Road in Moss Side, after the main carnival had finished on August 15 last year.

The killers had travelled across the Pennines for the carnival. He told jurors: “On Sunday, August 14, a mass of revellers gathered outside the Claremont pub and J’s Takeaway shop. A DJ booth was set up and the street was packed with people of all ages enjoying themselves, listening and dancing to music, eating and drinking and soaking up the atmosphere.

“Amongst that crowd were two groups of young men. Each group had travelled from Huddersfield. These defendants were part of one group. Javell Morgan, aged 20, was part of the other group. Both chose to attend, armed with lethal weapons, namely guns and knives.

“These were the lethal weapons they carried to use. It was shortly after midnight on August 15 when these opposing teams got into conflict on Claremont Road. The Crown says this was gang violence. It was all over in minutes.

“It involved one side attacking the other, armed with guns and the other side counter attacking with knives. The prosecution say, like a pack they chased their adversaries down Claremont Road.

“Javell Morgan was the only member of his team caught. The killing of him was an immediate act of retribution.”

The court heard that the two groups were at the after party on Claremont Road by 10.30pm on August 14, and by about midnight they were outside J’s Takeaway. Mr Elvidge said: “A by-stander heard one of the members of the opposing team say to another ‘there’s ops right there, I see ops right there’.”

In the following few minutes, the two rival groups clashed and Javell, from Leeds, whose family live between Halifax and Huddersfield, was murdered.

Bucknor pointed a loaded handgun at Mr Baptiste. When he moved forward, Mr Blackburn struck out at his arm and the gun was fired into the ground.

Mr Elvidge said: “The tables turned in an instant.”

The group were chased down by Doughty and Crosfield, until Doughty cornered Javell and attacked him with the blade, which a witness described as looking like a ‘samurai sword’.

He was able to run a short distance before collapsing near some police officers.

The prosecutor said: “Javell Morgan was left with a fatal injury to his back, several stab wounds to his left and right thigh.”

Following the attack, Doughty was seen to throw the sword into a backyard behind the pub. He then walked back to the road, exchanged hugs with one person and shook the hands of another, Mr Elvidge said.

Police recovered the weapon the following day. Doughty was later arrested in Huddersfield. Crosfield tried to flee from officers when they went to arrest him.

Doughty told the jury that he was acting in self defence when he stabbed Javell.

He said: “I just swung the knife. The blade was sticking up. I think it hit him in the upper body.

“I don’t think it had any effect. I don’t know if he was injured. I was in the moment, it was a very mad situation at the time. I believed he was trying to attack me.”

However, his claim was rejected by a jury.

Doughty, of Ponyfield Close, Huddersfield, and Crosfield, of Rawthorpe Crescent, Huddersfield, will be sentenced later this month. They both face life sentences.

Mr Baptiste, of Wellfield Bank, Huddersfield; Mr Goodhall, of Dalmeny Avenue, Huddersfield; and Mr Blackburn, of Towngate, Huddersfield; were discharged from the dock after being acquitted.

Following the second trial, which began on April 20 and concluded on Tuesday, Bucknor, of Farrar Drive, Huddersfield, Batler, of Belle Vue Crescent, Huddersfield and Richards, of Trafalgar Close, Huddersfield, were convicted of three offences of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life, and both Bucknor and Batler were convicted of attempted murder. Richards was found not guilty of attempted murder.

They will be sentenced on July 31 after trial judge Patrick Field KC asked for presentence reports to be prepared by the probation service.

The accused were each remanded into custody until a mention hearing next week.

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