The prosecutor in a Northampton murder trial has used his closing speech to call the alleged killing of Reece Ottaway "a sad reflection of society".
The trial of five young men accused of stabbing 23-year-old Reece Ottaway to death in February this year is drawing to a close after four weeks of evidence.
Each of the defendants is charged with kicking down the door to a flat in Cordwainer House, St James, before stabbing the 23-year-old to death in a botched robbery for drugs and money.
At Northampton Crown Court today (October 22), prosecutor Mr David Herbert QC used his closing speech to try to convince the jury to convict all five men with murder.
He told the jury: "This case is a sad reflection of the growth of knife crime on our streets today, ladies and gentlemen.
"Too many people today arm themselves with knives and you do not need me to tell you knife crime is rampant on our streets.
"And if you arm yourself with deadly weapons and enter into violent situations you are only ever putting yourself a hair's breadth away from murder."
Evidence in the trial says Reece was stabbed to death by a machete and a knife. A baseball bat was also swung at his back and one of the defendants reportedly held a BB gun to his head.
However, which defendant used which weapon has not been made clear in evidence.
But in particular, Mr Herbert levelled his closing speech today at Jordan Kimpton, 21 of Sam Harrison Way, Duston, and Adison Smith, 20, of no fixed address.
Evidence shown to the jury as part of a "bad character application" reportedly showed how Smith allegedly stabbed "a complete stranger" in the back with a wooden-handled machete while Kimpton encouraged him.
Then, the jury was shown a video taken by a defendant's phone that showed Smith using homemade lyrics to rap about the attack, saying: "Watch me back out my shank, watch me spray, JK showed me the way."
Mr Herbert said: "The prosecution say Jordan Kimpton and Addison Smith are very dangerous young men. They have no respect for their victims and no remorse. In fact, they are proud to inflict very serious injuries and draw blood. It is a badge of honour.
"They are remorseless predators with the way they wield these weapons. And they are a danger to the public and others around them."
The prosecutor's closing speech is expected to conclude tomorrow.
The five men charged with Mr Ottaway's murder are:
- Cameron Higgs, 20, of Chestnut Close, Milton Malsor, who claims he took no part in the attack. He also claims he took a knife to the flat but did not produce it.
- Jordan Crowley (also known as Jordan Kimpton), 21, of Sam Harrison Way, Duston, who claims his involvement was to hold a BB gun to Reece's head and took no part in the attack.
- Alfie Drage, 20, of Clover Street, Upton, who claims he took no part in the attack.
- Adison Smith, 20, of no fixed address, who was injured in the incident in the flat and claims he took no part in the attack.
- Ethan Stirling, aged 21, of Baukewell Court, Lumbertubs, who claims he never entered the flat and waited on a staircase with a rucksack.
A witness in the flat that night claims "five men" surrounded Reece when he was stabbed to death.
All of the defendants except Ethan Stirling have already pleaded guilty to conspiring to rob Reece that night. They all deny murder.