FOUR men who denied killing a teenager who was stabbed in the neck outside a Coventry night club will stand trial.
Tobijah Thompson, Hasham Ali, Ramez Murtaza and Zaker Khan all pleaded not guilty at Warwick Crown Court to the murder of 18-year-old Daniel Kirkwood on March 15.
The teenager suffered a stab wound to his neck during an incident outside Society night club in Coventry at around 2am, and was rushed to hospital where he died a short time later.
All four defendants also pleaded not guilty to wounding two other men, Niall Kavanagh and Nigel Mkhwananzi, with intent to cause them grievous bodily harm.
In addition they denied charges of violent disorder and assaulting a fourth alleged victim, Christopher O’Brien, causing him actual bodily harm.
Tobijah Thompson, aged 25 of no fixed address, but previously of Blakesley Way, Bordesley Green, Birmingham, also pleaded not guilty to a further charge he faces alone of possessing a knife inside the night club.
Asking for more time for a ‘defence case statement’ to be served on behalf of Thompson, his barrister Michael Borelli QC said: “Mr Thompson, on the prosecution case, is the primary offender.”
Judge Richard Griffith-Jones adjourned that part of the hearing against Thompson until next month and confirmed the date for the trial, which is expected to last five weeks, as January 12, 2016.
Prosecutor Michael Burrows QC pointed out that a fifth defendant, 31-year-old Ezra Scott of Hawksyard Road, Erdington, Birmingham, was not before the court as there is an application for the charges against him to be dismissed – which has to be done before a defendant is arraigned.
There is also to be an application for at least one witness in the trial to be granted anonymity.
Judge Griffith-Jones adjourned the case for trial and granted bail to 18-year-old Hasham Ali of Amberley Green, Great Barr, Birmingham.
He also remanded Tobijah Thompson, 21-year-old Bordesley Green East resident Ramez Murtaza, and 25-year-old Zaker Khan from Belchers Lane, Small Heath, in custody until January 13, 2016.