The trial of 4 defendants lasted 8 weeks before a High Court judge in the Welsh capital city of Cardiff. The victim was an 18 year old Somalian who was stabbed 21 times in a lane near to the Cardiff University Students Union. Multiple eye-witnesses from the University saw the attack and gave evidence for the prosecution.
The defence challenged the prosecution pathologist’s evidence in support of the defendants’ case of self- defence. This involved detailed cross examination of the pathologist to establish the precise cause of the multiple wounds, the effect of intoxication levels of the deceased, and a detailed analysis of the weapons used to inflict the wounds.
Serious knife crime is defined as any assault, robbery, threat to kill, murder, attempted murder or sexual offence involving a knife or sharp instrument. A recent BBC survey revealed that London, Manchester, Liverpool, Slough and Nottingham are all in the top 25 most dangerous places in England and Wales for serious knife crime. The safest areas included Wales. These statistics provide some explanation as to why this case took on such a high profile in Wales.
Criminologists, sociologists and youth workers have been attempting to make sense of youth gang violence. The research reveals that whilst gang members’ lifestyles may initially appear bewildering, it was possible to see a logic and a structure in the choices these young people make that lead to the violence they inflict and suffer. Separately, they came to strikingly similar conclusions about the complex causes of that violence. Unsurprisingly, the findings revealed that economic and social factors result in a small number of young people becoming marginalised, and then attempting to make their way in life in the brutal and unpredictable world of the drug trade.