'You down for tonight? I need the money': Robbers accused of murder discussed break-in hours before Northampton man's death

Two men accused of murdering a Northampton man in a botched robbery texted each other in the days before his death to plan the break-in, a court has heard.

Friday, 27th September 2019, 12:09 pm
Two men accused of murdering Reece Ottaway reportedly texted each other about their plan to rob him.

A trial is underway over the alleged murder of Reece Ottaway, who was stabbed to death in a flat in Cordwainer House, St James, in the early hours of February 1 this year.

Five men have been charged with breaking into the flat that night to rob Reece of drugs and money before allegedly stabbing him seven times.

But in his opening speech at Northampton Crown Court yesterday (September 27), the prosecutor told the jury about a series of texts between two of the defendants that seem to discuss a plan to attack Reece's flat just 24 hours later.

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Two men accused of murdering Reece Ottaway reportedly texted each other about their plan to rob him.

Prosecutor Mr David Herbert QC read out the texts between defendants Jordan Crowley, 21, of Sam Harrison Way, and Alfie Drage, 20, of Clover Street, Upton, which were sent overnight on January 29 and 30.

Mr Herbert told the court: "Crowley sent a message saying, 'You down for tonight? Because I need money'.

"'I'm doing it tonight with or without you'.

"Alfie Drage replied, 'I just think we should at least try to find out what's there'."

Reece Ottaway was stabbed to death in the early hours of February 1 in a living room in Cordwainer House.

Drage, Crowley and two other defendants standing trial the murder have already pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rob Reece that night.

The court heard how Reece, who sold cannabis, had "reloaded" his stock in the days before his death and kept his stash in the flat in Cordwainer House.

Mr Herbert told the jury: "During the days before the murder, it is absolutely plain that one or more of the defendants first came up with the plan to rob Reece of his money and drugs.

"[The defendants] understood there would be as much as £30,000 at Reece's flat."

Another text from Crowley - also known as Jordan Kimpton - reportedly read: "Blud I need my shank."

The five men charged with Mr Ottaway's murder are:

- Cameron Higgs, 20, of Chestnut Close, Milton Malsor

- Jordan Crowley (also known as Jordan Kimpton), 21, of Sam Harrison Way, Duston

- Alfie Drage, 20, of Clover Street, Upton

- Adison Smith, 20, of no fixed address

- Ethan Stirling, aged 21, of Baukewell Court, Lumbertubs

All of the defendants except Ethan Stirling have already pleaded guilty to conspiring to rob Reece that night. They all deny murder.

The trial continues.