Stefan Appleton murder trial: friend describes agonised screams of teenager
- Credit: Archant
Chilling evidence describing the final moments of Stefan Appleton, who was killed with a machete in a Canonbury park, was presented to an Old Bailey jury today.
The boy accused of his murder “kept hitting and hitting” the teenager as he screamed, the court was told.
Jurors were also told schoolchildren had been present in Nightingale Park as Stefan, 17, was stabbed to death on June 10 last year.
The court heard an hour-long recording of a police interview with a friend of Stefan – and witness to his death.
Voice distortion was used to protect the witness’s identity, who was in a separate area of the park from Stefan when two boys – Defendants One and Two – were said to have turned up on a moped just before 6pm. “Two” ran at Stefan and his friends, who were playing a coin tossing game against a wall, it was alleged.
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The witness said: “I thought at first it was the police. He [Defendant Two] was right behind him. Stefan tripped and he kept hitting and hitting him. He hit him about four times. Stefan was screaming.
“He [Defendant Two] ran off. Stefan got up and went up the hill. We ran to help him but he collapsed. His eyes rolled into his head. We rang the police.”
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It was in nearby Caldy Walk that Stefan collapsed. He was taken to hospital but died from his injuries about two hours later.
Last week, the court was told Defendant Two accepts he stabbed Stefan – but claims it was done in self-defence.
Defendant One, who transported his co-accused on the moped, also denies murder on the basis he didn’t know anyone would be stabbed.
They, alongside a 16-year-old from Hertfordshire (Defendant Three), also deny a charge of conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm.
The court heard this morning from another witness who saw the moped pull up while she was inside her home. Speaking from behind a curtain to protect her identity, she said: “There were two boys and one jumped off. He pulled a black case from his trousers. The case fell to the floor and he was holding a knife the size of my arm.
“He chased down the alley a boy who had been standing near the fence with other boys. They went out of view. [...] There were schoolchildren in the park.”
The court also heard Stefan, who lived in the nearby Marquess Estate, was a friend of Islington boy Lewis “Lighty” Johnson, 18, who died near Clapton Common after a police chase last month.