26th Jun, 2022

Gang rivalries in Coventry see 'incidents of serious violence' when victims refuse to speak, Jaydon James trial hears

Editorial Correspondent 9th Mar, 2020 Updated: 9th Mar, 2020

RIVALRY between gangs in Coventry has resulted in ‘a number of incidents of serious violence’, but those involved often refuse to co-operate with the police, even when they themselves are the victims, a court has heard.

The summary came as it was alleged the rivalry between two Coventry gangs was behind the fatal stabbing of 16-year-old Jaydon James on a driveway beside a church and the wounding of two of his friends, a jury heard.

The allegation was made during the opening of the trial at Warwick Crown Court of teenagers Frank Kenfack, Abdirazac Abdi and Bongani Ngozi, who have pleaded not guilty to Jaydon’s murder.

Jaydon died in hospital after being stabbed during an incident in Deedmore Road, Wood End, at shortly before midnight on 24 November 2018.

Kenfack (18) of no fixed address; Abdi (20) of Foleshill Road, Coventry; and Ngozi (18) of Rosemary Way, Hinckley, also deny wounding two of Jaydon’s friends with intent to cause them grievous bodily harm.

Putting the prosecution case, following several days of legal discussions, prosecutor Michael Burrows QC told the jury: “Saturday night, the 24th of November 2018, Jaydon James, 16 years old, was with friends in the Wood End area of Coventry.

“A black Peugeot car pulled up near them, some men ran from the car and chased Jaydon James and his friends. Many of his friends got away, but Jaydon James did not.

“He ran down a driveway at the side of a nearby church. Those chasing caught up and stabbed him in the back.

“The knife they used went right through his body, and he died from his injuries some time later.

“The prosecution says the attack on Jaydon was murder, and that these defendants were all involved in that attack.

“Clearly only one of them held the knife that went through him, but they were acting together and shared the intention to kill or at least cause him really serious injury.”

Mr Burrows said that for the same reason all three were responsible for wounding Jaydon’s friends who had slash wounds to their legs, with one also having a wound to his back.

He explained: “There is a background to the case. There are rival gangs in Coventry. The RB7 gang is based very much in and around the city centre; the C2 gang is based in the Wood End area, the CV2 postcode area.

“The rivalry between the gangs has resulted in a number of incidents of serious violence, but those involved often refuse to co-operate with the police, even when they themselves are the victims.”

The stabbing of Jaydon and his two friends took place in Deedmore Road, Wood End, which Mr Burrows described as ‘territory linked to the C2 gang,’ and involved an attack by a group who had travelled there in a car on another group who were already there.

In September that year Jaydon had told his mother that RB7 were out to assault him, and later that he had been robbed by members of RB7 who had taken his phone and coat – and showed her an Instagram picture of someone from RB7 wearing his coat.

“Of course Jaydon James is not here to tell us who attacked him on the night he was killed, but from what he told his mother, it’s clear he had been targeted by lads he identified as being RB7,” commented Mr Burrows.

He said that taxi driver Ajaz Khan was on his way to pick up a fare in Wood End at around 11.25pm when he saw a group, which included Jaydon, outside the chip shop.

As he turned into Lillington Road he had to swerve to avoid a dark-coloured Peugeot 407 and heard someone in the car say something like ‘They’re over there.’

Then as he waited for his customer he saw a group of young men walking near to the church in Deedmore Road, and then the Peugeot being driven at speed and pulling up by the church, and realised something was going on as he saw people running.

A few seconds later two males came out of the drive that runs down the side of the church and were joined by a third male before all three got into the car, which sped away.

Mr Khan then heard a young man shouting for an ambulance, and went to help him and saw he was injured to his leg.

Jaydon’s other friend, who also had a cut to his leg, came over, shaking, and said he had been stabbed to the chest.

A third young man joined them a couple of minutes later, shouting that his friend was injured and pointing down the drive.

Police officers then arrived, and Pc Kevin Vince ran down the drive where he found Jaydon lying on his back, ‘conscious and writhing with pain,’ saying he had been stabbed in his stomach.

Mr Burrows said: “Pc Vince pulled Jaydon’s shirt up and saw he had a serious injury to his abdomen. He turned him onto his side and saw there was a cut about four inches long to his back.”

Meanwhile Pc Jason Hinds was tending to Jaydon’s friends, but realised most of their injuries were slashes, and hearing his colleague shouting, he ran to help him.

“Jaydon was still conscious, but was barely able to speak. When PC Hinds asked who had done this, Jaydon just kept saying ‘I’m going to die.’”

Paramedics arrived and took over the treatment of Jaydon, who lost consciousness, and they could not find a pulse.

“They tried to resuscitate him and get him into the ambulance and rushed him to hospital. There doctors took over and did their best to save Jaydon, but he did not show any signs of life, and at 29 minutes past midnight they declared him dead.”

Mr Burrows said Jaydon’s two friends were also taken to the hospital, but both declined to make statements to the police.

CCTV recordings recovered by the police showed a stolen black Peugeot with a false registration number on the forecourt of the Murco garage in Sewell Highway 20 minutes before Mr Khan saw it – and it was found abandoned several weeks later.

The CCTV footage at the garage showed the front seat passenger, alleged to have been Kenfack, getting out with what appeared to be a knife hidden in the back of his jacket.

And CCTV footage recovered from near the scene of the stabbing showed a figure wearing similar clothing with ‘a long item consistent with being a large knife in his hand.’

Two days later Kenfack’s mother reported him as missing and showed the police a picture of him in the clothes she thought he had been wearing when he disappeared – which matched what the person said to be Kenfack was wearing on the night.

Kenfack had gone to Oxford, where he was arrested on November 29, with Ngozi, who was arrested on January 10, while Abdi, who had also left Coventry and had gone to Bolton, was arrested on December 26.

All three denied being involved in the stabbings. The trial, which is expected to last up to six weeks, continues.

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