All seven charged with Northampton teenager's murder claim none of them had knives

All seven young men charged with Liam Hunt's murder deny carrying knives or knowing their friends had knives.
All seven young men charged with Liam Hunt's murder deny carrying knives or knowing their friends had knives.

A defence lawyer has suggested Northampton teenager Liam Hunt was carrying a knife when he was killed in an alleged group-stabbing last year.

Seven young men are on trial for murder at Northampton Crown Court after the 17-year-old died in an attack last February.

But yesterday (February 8), each of the group's defence barristers denied that any of their clients were carrying knives or knew their friends planned to cause serious injury before the attack.

The prosecution says three knives were used in the attack and Liam was stabbed five times.

Only one of the boys, Derice Wright, 18, from Abington, has admitted any taking part in any violence by saying he threw the first punch at Liam Hunt. He has denied murder and tried before the trial to plead guilty to manslaughter.

But prosecutor John Lloyd-Jones has rejected this and says all seven of the group are guilty of murder.

Mr Lloyd-Jury told the jury Kane Allaban-Hamilton, 18, from Delapre, was seen stabbing Liam in the neck and causing a seven-centimetre deep wound.

But his defence barrister Michael Mather-Lees told the court: "[My client] was no part of any joint venture to cause injury, either serious or otherwise.

"He was acting or reacting in response to the deceased's actions... [Liam] was in possession of a knife."

Two others, Aaron Joseph, 20, from London, and a 17-year-old boy who cannot be named, are also accused of stabbing Liam Hunt, with Joseph repeatedly asking "where's my shank, give me my knife".

Their barristers both deny either of them were involved in the fight and "played no part".

Speaking for another 17-year-old boy who cannot be named, defence barrister Jo Sidhu said: "Any force used by [my client] was in the course of self defence."

The court heard on Tuesday (February 6) that James Dodd, 18, from Northampton, allegedly rounded the group up and went after Liam for revenge after losing an early-morning fight with him two days before.

He denies "any physical involvement in the death of Liam Hunt", and remained some distance away. His barrister says he is "not responsible for encouraging or otherwise inviting the group that attacked Liam".

Lee Warren, 18, from Queens Park, says he "did not know anybody present had a knife until it was all over", his barrister told the court.