The friend of a teenage boy stabbed to death outside his school gates told police it happened because he “joined a gang and had left”, a court has been told.
Khayri McLean, 15, died in a “well-planned and targeted” knifing at the entrance to North Huddersfield Trust School after being attacked by two balaclava-wearing youths “lying in wait” for him as he left, prosecutors say.
A 15-year-old boy who knifed Khayri in the chest has admitted murder, jurors at Leeds Crown Court have heard.
A 17-year-old said to have stabbed Khayri in the leg denies murder and is on trial.
Although the older teenager did not inflict the fatal blow, he is guilty of murder because he acted with his co-accused and they “encouraged and supported each other to carry out the attack”, prosecutors say.
On Thursday, jurors heard a summary of evidence from two of Khayri’s friends who saw the attack in Woodhouse Hill, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire.
One boy, 15, who said he had been friends with Khayri since primary school, described being in class earlier that afternoon and seeing two people “dressed in black from head to toe” heading across an adjacent public field.
A summary of the witness’s interview with police, read in court by prosecutor George Hazel-Owram, said he and a group of friends, including Khayri, finished school at 2.40pm and were “all talking and having a laugh” as they left.
As they approached an alleyway, two people wearing balaclavas, sunglasses and gloves leapt from the alley, with one shouting “Yo, Khayri,” the witness said.
The attacker “came straight at Khayri”, the witness told police.
Mr Hazel-Owram said: “At first he thought it might have been a joke but then he saw a knife and knew it wasn’t.”
The attacker who had shouted then jumped in the air “like some ninja” with a knife in his hand and swung the blade towards Khayri’s shoulder, the witness said.
“Everyone started running” when the attack happened, he told officers, and he could hear Khayri screaming as he sprinted away.
Mr Hazel-Owram said the witness told police “he thought this incident had happened because Khayri was in a gang and had left the gang”.
“He thought Khayri had joined the gang partway through Year 10,” he said.
“He had seen Khayri post about the gang on social media.”
Another friend of Khayri who saw the killing said the attackers “had been waiting for Khayri and recognised him”.
“They knew who Khayri was, they were aggressive and it was clear they wanted to hurt Khayri badly,” Mr Hazel-Owram said in his summary.
Jurors were told the 17-year-old defendant’s girlfriend sent him an audio message on Snapchat about 20 minutes before the attack, asking: “How comes you are going in 20 minutes when they finish school in, like, 10 minutes?”
The court was previously told the older defendant saw Khayri as his “enemy”.
The trial continues.
Published: 16/03/2023 by Radio NewsHub