Boy, 16, ‘killed after being confronted by rival teenagers armed with blades’

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A 16-year-old was stabbed to death after being confronted by rival teenagers armed with an assortment of bladed weapons, a court has been told.

Ramarni Crosby was repeatedly knifed when allegedly attacked by eight youths carrying a machete, meat cleaver and knives in Gloucester.

The youngster and his four friends ran off – but he slowed and collapsed in Stratton Road, where he died of his injuries, CCTV footage from properties in the Barton area of the city showed.

Dean Smith, 20, Levi Cameron, 18, Callum Charles-Quebella, 18, three 17-year-olds and two 16-year-olds are accused of murdering the teenager on December 15 2021.

Ramarni Crosby 16, died after being attacked in Gloucester (Gloucestershire Police/PA)
Ramarni Crosby, 16, died after being attacked in Gloucester (Gloucestershire Police/PA)

The build-up and aftermath of the alleged attack was caught on CCTV but the stabbing was not, Bristol Crown Court was told.

Prosecutor Adam Vaitilingam KC told the jury: “The background to the stabbing was an ongoing rivalry between two Gloucester groups.

“In particular, there was a fight that had taken place about a week earlier involving one of these defendants and one of Ramarni’s friends.

“That fight hadn’t settled anything – there were still grievances bubbling away between them and more violence was very much on the cards.

“On the day of the killing, the two who had had the fight were in contact with each other again, in contact by phone, and arranging to meet in Gloucester.”

“CCTV cameras from around the town centre captured, and doorbell cameras on people’s doors, the two groups making their way towards each other and they came together on a road called Stratton Road in Gloucester,” he told the court.

“Ramarni’s friend says that, as the other group approached, he could see that they were carrying weapons.

“He describes it as ‘a bunch of knives and machetes’.

“There was an encounter and he and the others in his group ran off, but he says that Ramarni started swinging punches at some of the defendant group.

“He didn’t see Ramarni get stabbed but he says, ‘I saw a lot of weapons and them all on Ramarni’.”

The defendants were part of a gang called GL1 and would wear purple bandanas as a sign of membership, the court was told.

Although the alleged attack was not caught on camera, Mr Vaitilingam said: “But what you do see is Ramarni’s group approaching and then running away and being chased by the defendant group.

“Ramarni was the last to run away.

“After he’d run a short distance, he collapsed on the street.

“An ambulance was called and paramedics and doctors did what they could to save him, but he had been fatally injured.”

A rivalry between two groups in Gloucester led to Ramarni Crosby's death, a murder trial heard (Gloucestershire Police/PA)
A rivalry between two groups in Gloucester led to Ramarni’s death, a murder trial has heard (Gloucestershire Police/PA)

“A machete was thrown into the canal and recovered by police divers,” he said.

“That machete has clear links to these defendants. So do other weapons – two knives and a meat cleaver – found hidden in drains near to the scene of the killing.”

Ramarni had several stab wounds to his back and one to his skull.

Telephone and social media conversations between some of the defendants were recovered and included references to buying a “chef” – a knife – in the days before Ramarni’s death, jurors heard.

One defendant boasted of attacking Ramarni’s friend, claiming they “smoked him up with wood”, Mr Vaitilingam said.

Another allegedly made a reference to stabbing someone, saying: “I have been thinking about boring this man all night.”

Smith, of Lannett Road; Cameron, of Stanway Road; and Charles-Quebella, of Midland Road, all Gloucester; and their five co-accused deny murder.

The eight defendants all face the alternative charge of manslaughter, to which Charles-Quebella has pleaded guilty.

A ninth defendant, Keishaleigh Margrett-Whitter, 20, of Lyncroft Road, Tyseley, Birmingham, denies two charges of assisting an offender.

She allegedly gave two defendants a change of clothing, allowed them to use her mobile phone, swapped sim cards and organised taxis.

The trial continues.

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