Fist-fight in Northampton town centre was 'catalyst' for murder of Liam Hunt, court hears

Northampton Crown Court heard today how James Dodd and Liam Hunt reportedly squared up to each other - for no more reason other than they wanted to fight.
Northampton Crown Court heard today how James Dodd and Liam Hunt reportedly squared up to each other - for no more reason other than they wanted to fight.

Northampton teenager Liam Hunt had a fist fight with one of the young men accused of murdering him two days before he was stabbed to death, a court heard today.

The early-morning punch up in The Drapery was described to Northampton Crown Court today (February 16) by the deceased 17-year-old's girlfriend, speaking as a witness.

She described how Liam and James Dodd, 19, from Camp Hill, Northampton, squared up to each other - for no reason other than them both wanting to "have a fight" that night - before "having swingers". Dodd threw the first punch.

The fight was described by prosecutor John Lloyd-Jones as the "catalyst shortly thereafter for the murder of Liam Hunt".

Dodd now stands trial along with six other young men for the stabbing that killed Liam on February 14 last year.

The court heard how on the night of February 12, 2017, Liam had just been in a fight with another man on the Drapery, which his girlfriend and friends had tried to break up".

The 18-year-old girl told the jury: "We were walking on the Drapery towards McDonald's. Liam's adrenaline was pumping. He was saying 'I want to fight tonight'".

But that night, James Dodd was also on the Drapery, reportedly shouting at a girl in a bus stop and saying he also wanted to fight.

The witness said: "I heard James say, 'anyone who wants it can have it'.

"Liam must have heard James. He shouted 'oh yeah, you want a fight then, yeah? Come on then.'

"Liam and James were very close to each other. James threw the first punch. And that was it. They were having swingers."

The fight was reportedly broken up when one of Liam's friends rugby-tackled the brawling pair and knocked them to the ground. James then "scrambled up quickly and ran".

The trial continues.