A teenager who chased a 16-year-old boy while armed with a knife just wanted to ‘scare’ him., a court heard. The 17-year-old defendant, who can’t be named for legal reasons, claimed he and others had followed 16-year-old Rhamero West after seeing him drive at a drug dealer ‘as if he was going to run him over’ .
Shortly after a high speed chase involving three stolen BMWs, Mr West was stabbed to death on Norton Street in Old Trafford. “I weren’t happy about what I had just seen, I wanted to speak to him about it,” the defendant told jurors at Manchester Crown Court.
Prosecutors allege that 19-year-old Ryan Cashin took a knife from the 17-year-old and then stabbed Mr West with it. Two other men, Giovanni Lawrence, 20, Xavaiour Wynter, 18, are also on trial. All four defendants deny murder.
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Jurors heard that the 17-year-old defendant and Mr Cashin had bought cannabis from a ‘friend’ in Millennium Park, Moss Side, after 5pm on September 9 last year. After they both purchased some drugs and got back in two stolen BMWs, the defendant said he saw Mr West behind the wheel of another BMW, which was also stolen.
“I seen Rhamero’s car was driving towards the person I just purchased the cannabis from,” he said. The defendant claimed Mr West was driving ‘as if he was going to run him over’.
The teenage defendant was seen ‘leaning’ from the passenger window of the car. Asked why, he told his barrister Nigel Power QC: “To tell the people behind me what was happening.”
“Did the car you were in follow Rhamero’s car?,” the QC asked. “Yes. I weren’t happy about what I had just seen, I wanted to speak to him about it.”
Jurors heard that there was a ‘confrontation’ on the Princess Parkway at about 5.45pm. The defendant said he got out of the car, and saw ‘large knives’ and five men wearing ‘corona masks’ in Mr West’s BMW.
He said he ‘kicked’ at the door to ‘scare’ them, before being given a knife by another man and then using it to hit the window. The trial heard he got back into the car and the two BMWs followed Mr West.
“Was there any discussion about what would happen next?”, Mr Power asked. “No, we just followed them,” he said.
Jurors heard that the two BMWs pursued Mr West’s BMW through the streets. Mr West drove ‘erratically’ and ‘too fast’, before hitting a car on Upper Chorlton Road and then crashing into a tree.
Shortly after, Mr West and his friends got out and ran. The defendant said he also got out of his car then chased Mr West to ‘scare’ him.
Shortly after, the other BMW drove past and stopped, as the defendant slowed down. “I had finished, I just wanted to scare him and that what I had done,” he said.
The knife was then taken off him unexpectedly by someone else, the defendant said. He couldn’t see who took the knife from him, jurors heard.
Prosecutors allege Mr Cashin was responsible, but the defendant denied this and said Mr Cashin had ran off earlier during the confrontation on the Princess Parkway. Mr West was stabbed at about 6pm. The defendant said he did not witness the incident and only heard later that there had been a stabbing in Old Trafford.
He admitted that he thought it might involve Mr West, and said he was ‘worried’ about what would happen to the victim. The defendant revealed that he dumped his phone in a grid later that night, saying he was ‘worried’ he would get into ‘trouble’ and feared the device might ‘connect’ him to the stabbing.
A few days later he spoke to police after his mother told him that officers wanted to interview him. Asked why it took him days to speak with police, he said: “Because I had to get my head around what happened.”
The defendant said he was friends with the other three defendants. He was n’t friends with Mr West, but he knew him as he lived near his grandmother and had his contact details of him on Snapchat and Instagram.
Ryan Cashin, of Nancy Street, Manchester; Giovanni Lawrence, of Colgrove Ave, Manchester; Xaviour Wynter, of no fixed address; and a 17-year-old boy who can’t be named for legal reasons, deny murder.