Northampton

Liam Hunt: Stabbing threat messages were 'bravado'

Liam Hunt Image copyright Northamptonshire Police
Image caption Liam Hunt had been involved in two fights two days before he was killed in Northampton town centre

A man accused of murder said messages threatening to get "my boys" to stab a 17-year-old he had been in a fight with were "bravado", a court heard.

James Dodd said he had been "trying to big myself up" after he came off second best in a fight with Liam Hunt on 12 February last year.

Two days later, Mr Hunt was killed during an attack in St George's Street, Northampton.

Mr Dodd, 19, is one of five men who deny murder at Northampton Crown Court.

Three others are also from Northampton - Kane Allaban-Hamilton, 18, from Pleydell Gardens, Delapre; Lee Warren, 18, from Queen's Park; and Derice Wright, 18, from Abington.

The other defendant is Aaron Joseph, 21, from Hylands Road, Walthamstow, east London.

Two 17-year-olds, who cannot be named for legal reasons, also appeared in the dock.

One is charged with murder. The second faced a charge of murder, but this has been reduced to violent disorder.

Mr Dodd told the court his co-accused were "not my boys".

Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption A Northampton town centre branch of McDonald's was closed as part of the investigation into Liam Hunt's death

The court heard Mr Dodd had been drunk after being out clubbing in Northampton on 12 February.

He said Mr Hunt "had approached me and said 'do you think you are tough'" before punching him in the face and, along with two others, kicking him when he was on the ground.

Mr Dodd said he had punched Mr Hunt "twice under the eye" in "self-defence" before running away.

Defence barrister Naeem Mian asked him about a series of messages he had sent to friends the following morning.

In one he said: "My boys will stab them."

He also wrote the fight had been "bad timing" as he and a friend hadn't been "carrying our Rambos" - a reference to knives.

He told the court he had been "trying to big myself up" but would "never carry a knife".

The trial continues.

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