Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Court Told Victim Paid with His Life for Sword Attack

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Court Told Victim Paid with His Life for Sword Attack

Article excerpt

Byline: GARETH LIGHTFOOT and DAVID HUNTLEY gareth.lightfoot@trinitymirror.com @GazetteCourt

A TRIAL has heard how Steven Willis "paid with his life" after launching an attack armed with a samurai sword on a man accused of his murder.

Teesside Crown Court heard that the 27-year-old "targeted" Kieran Ibitson after witnessing him stab his father, John Pickering.

On day 15 of the trial of five men accused of the young dad's murder, the court heard from Ibitson's defence barrister, Peter Doyle QC.

Ibitson denies the murder of Steven Willis and charges of wounding with intent to cause serious harm, but has admitted the serious assault against his uncle, John Pickering.

Addressing the jury yesterday, Mr Doyle QC said Ibitson would "stand convicted by his own plea of a most serious offence, wounding John Pickering with intent."

He said those most closely touched by the tragic events understandably "cry out for justice" for Steven Willis and Lennon Pickering.

"You may feel in the atmosphere of this courtroom that Kieran is condemned by them.

"And you will have no sympathy, will you, for what he has admitted doing himself."

"You are deciding the fate of a young man who tells you he is guilty of a very serious crime but asks you to believe him when he is innocent of any other.

"We submit that the evidence points clearly to an intention on Steven Willis' part to target and attack Kieran for what he had seen him do to his father.

"He was armed and on a mission. "It was part of the psyche of these two young brothers who worshipped the ground that John Pickering walked on, that no one was going to get away with harming dad."

Mr Doyle said Steven Willis launched a "determined and sustained attack" on Kieran Ibitson.

"He's paid with his life."

He said Ibitson produced his knife not unlawfully but in a "spontaneous effort that you can safely conclude was to defend himself ". …

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