Jordan Douherty murder trial: Teenagers deny helping Newham teen stab 15-year-old to death in Collier Row
PUBLISHED: 16:18 14 December 2018
Two of the three teenagers accused of taking part in a fatal knife attack which killed a 15-year-old outside a party in Collier Row have claimed they played no role in the incident.
Jordan Douherty died from two stab wounds to the chest after a 16th birthday party descended into violence on June 23 this year.
Footage of the attack outside the North Romford Community Centre, in Clockhouse Lane, was captured on a mobile phone and shared on Snapchat at the time, and has now been shown repeatedly to the jury during the 13-day trial.
A 17-year-old from Newham denies murdering Jordan, while a 17-year-old and another 16-year-old deny conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm.
None of the defendants can be named for legal reasons.
Today the Old Bailey heard that the Newham teenager accused of stabbing Jordan to death had a previous conviction for possession of a knife, but had, as late as a month before the killing, been working as an ambassador sharing his own experience of knife crime.
The teen maintains he did not take a knife to the party, but was instead handed it by another partygoer he refused to name in court after an altercation began inside the venue.
The court heard that the second 17-year-old defendant, charged with conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm, had no previous convictions and claimed he was “just watching what was going on” as the fatal attack on Jordan unfolded.
He had not been invited to the party, but had decided to attend after seeing a message about it on Snapchat.
He presented no evidence at trial, but his lawyer insisted that none of the CCTV played to the jury during the three week trial had directly shown him aiming kicks or punches at Jordan as he lay on the ground in Clockhouse Lane.
On June 30, exactly a week after Jordan died, the 16-year-old defendant – who was just 15 at the time of the attack – was interviewed by police at his home following an unannounced visit.
They believed him to be one of the young men filmed leading the attack on Jordan, wearing an all grey tracksuit and carrying a rucksack.
According to his lawyer, he told them during that interview: “I wasn’t involved, but I was at the party.
“People are maybe confusing me for someone who was wearing the same clothes.”
The teenager has no previous convictions, and was the only defendant not to have lied to the police during their investigation, the lawyer told the court.
He went on: “This was a 15-year-old boy caught off guard by a visit from the police – no lawyers, no legal advice not to disclose evidence and no chance to give any thought to making something up.
“This was a child caught off guard, telling the truth.”
The court also heard that no grey tracksuit was found at the boy’s house, nor was any rucksack like the one being worn in CCTV footage, although the prosecution argued this meant the defendant had disposed of those items in the week between Jordan’s death and the search of his home.
“I’m not being unrealistic,” his lawyer told the jury as he finished his closing speech.
“If it’s not him, then it’s someone that looks very much like him, but you need to be absolutely sure.
“Otherwise, you must return a not guilty verdict.”
Summing up the case, Judge Anthony Bate said: “This was a shocking and traumatic incident which played out unexpectedly on that summer’s evening.”
He added: “Jordan Douherty was undoubtedly killed on a north Romford street at 9.36pm on June 23, 2018.
“We can state that time with remarkable precision because of the incredible speed with which the attack took place – lasting only a few seconds.
“This was a concerted attack, by a group of young men, and he was chased north, pushed to the ground and punched, kicked and stabbed as he lay prone on the ground alone and outnumbered.”