THE trial of five men accused of killing a teenager who was stabbed in the neck outside a Coventry night club has been delayed until early next year.
Tobijah Thompson, Hasham Ali, Ramez Murtaza, Ezra Scott and Zaker Khan all appeared at Coventry Crown Court for what was planned to have been a plea and case management hearing.
The five have all been charged with the murder of 18-year-old Daniel Kirkwood outside Society night club in Coventry in the early hours of March 15.
The teenager suffered a stab wound to his neck during an incident outside the club at around 2am and was rushed to hospital where he died a short time later.
In addition to the murder charge, all five also face charges of wounding two other men, Niall Kavanagh and Nigel Mkhwananzi, with intent to cause them grievous bodily harm.
They are also charged with violent disorder and assaulting Christopher O’Brien causing him actual bodily harm, with Thompson alone facing a charge of possessing an offensive weapon, a knife, at the night club.
But prosecutor Christopher Lester pointed out that there was no barrister at court to represent Thompson (25) who is of no fixed address, but previously of Blakesley Way, Bordesley Green, Birmingham.
And Judge Richard Griffith-Jones observed that there was also going to be an application to dismiss the charges against Scott (31) of Hawksyard Road, Erdington, Birmingham – which would have to take place before he enters pleas to them.
Mohammed Riaz, for Khan (25) of Belchers Lane, Small Heath, Birmingham, asked for him to be arraigned and said he would be entering not guilty pleas.
But the judge said: “It would not be right to have some arraigned and some not.”
So he adjourned the case of all five men to a date later this month for an application to dismiss the case against Scott to be considered and for them all to be arraigned – subject to the outcome of Scott’s application.
In relation to the trial, Judge Griffith-Jones said it is to be heard by a High Court judge, and a date of November 23 had originally been set.
But because the time estimate for the trial was anything between four and six weeks, there could be no guarantee that it would end before Christmas, after which the court will not sit again until the New Year.
So a provisional date had been proposed of January 12, although February 16 was also a possibility, he pointed out.
Adjourning the case, Judge Griffith-Jones remanded Thompson, Scott, Khan and Murtaza (21) of Bordesley Green East, Bordesley Green, in custody.
But Ali (18) of Amberley Green, Great Barr, Birmingham, was given bail, which had been granted at an earlier hearing.