A TRIAL of the five men accused of killing teenager Daniel Kirkwood has been hearing claims made by the one accused of inflicting the fatal stab in the neck at a Coventry nightclub.
Tobijah Thompson (25) who is said to be of no fixed address but living in Bedworth at the time, has pleaded not guilty to Daniel’s murder and two charges of wounding two of the 18-year-old’s friends with intent at Society nightclub in March last year.
With Thompson in the dock at Warwick Crown Court are Birmingham men Hasham Ali, Ramez Murtaza, Ezra Scott and Zaker Khan, who have all also pleaded not guilty to Daniel’s murder.
They have also denied charges of violent disorder and wounding Daniel’s friends, Nigel Mkhwananzi and Niall Kavanagh, with intent to cause them grievous bodily harm.
Thompson (25) formerly of Blakesley Way, Bordesley Green; Ali (19) of Amberley Green, Great Barr; Murtaza (21) of Bordesley Green East, Bordesley Green; Khan (25) of Belchers Lane, Small Heath; Scott (32) of Hawksyard Road, Erdington, also all deny assaulting a fourth person, Christopher O’Brien.
Prosecutor Michael Burrows QC has said although Thompson stabbed Daniel, the others ‘shared his murderous intent.’
Ali became involved in a confrontation after seeing Mr O’Brien push a girl to whom Ali had earlier given his number, the jury has heard.
Mr Burrows said after Thompson’s arrest on March 18 at his home in Towpath Close, Bedworth, he told officers in interview: “OK, well I don’t know anything about any stabbings. I don’t know anything about the night. I don’t know nothing.”
Apart from confirming he had no injuries to his hands, he then repeatedly replied: “No comment.”
In a later interview he was shown CCTV recordings from inside the club, replying ‘no comment,’ apart from saying: “It don’t look like anyone’s been hurt on that footage; but no comment.”
He was shown a photograph in which it was suggested he was hugging Khan.
But he told the officers: “That’s me getting up off the floor. I’ve been dragged off the floor. It don’t show me coming back or giving anyone a hug.”
Thompson was shown another photo in which it was suggested he had something in his right hand, but responded: “Doesn’t look like anything’s getting held in the right hand.”
Mr Burrows pointed out that in his defence statement, Thompson originally denied using any unlawful violence during the incident – but later admitted ‘unlawfully kicking’ Daniel.
“He accepts he delivered a flying kick to Daniel Kirkwood when he was not under an imminent threat of violence, and was therefore not acting in self-defence.”
Mr Burrows continued by referring to Thompson’s statement, which had claimed he “may have been contaminated with Daniel Kirkwood’s blood in delivering the kick” but “did not see him being stabbed either before or after he had kicked him.”
Ali told officers on his arrest: “I was there, I was at the Society club with my cousins. I got bottled, as you can see.”
He had dried blood to his nose and was missing a front upper tooth, said Mr Burrows.
The trial continues.
Support community journalism by making a contribution
The Coventry Observer's team of journalists provide a trusted source of news, sport, entertainment and events going on in your area and issues which matter to you - both via our free weekly print edition and daily updates on our website.
Every contribution, however big or small, you can make will help us continue to do that now and in the future.
Thanks for reading this and the Coventry Observer.