FRIDAY UPDATE - Pathologist reveals extent of injuries after attack 

A GANG chased and cornered a man into a Blackbird Leys alleyway before he was 'hacked and beaten to death' with golf clubs, wooden poles and a machete, a court heard.

As the trial into the murder of Christopher Lemonius got under way at Oxford Crown Court yesterday, jurors heard how the 'savage' attack by five of the six men charged with murder was sparked after a late-night brawl at Blackbird Leys Park.

In total, nine men and one woman are on trial.

Scroll down for list of defendants

As well as the murder charges, two men are charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice while a further a man and woman are charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice.

All 10 deny the charges against them.

The jury of seven women and five men heard from prosecutor Stuart Trimmer QC, opening the trial, that 27-year old Mr Lemonius was killed after suffering more than 80 wounds from the attack shortly after 11pm on June 1 last year.

Describing the incident as 'savage', he said: "This was no scuffle by chance. This was a persistent, determined, armed attack, with death in mind.

"The weapons used included a machete and several other implements carried to cause injury and used to fearsome effect.

"This was an organised group activity with weapons that was carried through to a fatal conclusion."

Mr Trimmer told the court that the incident centred on two groups - one involving Mr Lemonius together with two others, and the second involving the six men charged with his murder.

On the night of June 1 there had already been 'previous violence' involving the alleged stabbing of one of the defendants, the court heard, which may have fuelled the attack, he said.

Jurors were told that in the minutes before the murder, a 'violent confrontation' had then ensued at Blackbird Leys Park between the two groups which led to 'both sides swinging weapons'.

One unnamed witness who happened to pass by at the time, the court heard, said a male was seen raising a machete and shouting 'come on then'.

As the violence spiralled onto the street Yousef Koudoua, the only defendant charged with murder and not alleged to have carried out the alleyway violence, then drove his black Audi A3 towards Mr Lemonius's group, jurors were told.

Now separated from his comrades, Mr Lemonius was chased by the car into an alleyway off Jourdain Road before seeming to seek refuge in one of the houses - inhabited by two of the defendants each charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice - Allal Lamzini, and Yamina Lamzini.

Unnamed witnesses then described hearing screams and shouting from inside the house, the court heard, before Mr Lemonius was dragged into a rear garden and beaten with golf clubs and chunks of wood.

Mr Trimmer said: "They carried on beating him on his legs, head and body until he fell to the floor. [Mr Lemonius] ended up in the foetal position with arms up trying to protect his head."

He added the victim was then dragged back out into the alleyway where he was repeatedly punched, kicked and stamped on as the assault continued, and was only stopped when one of the man shouted 'police' and the group scattered.

He said: "The Crown say six of the defendants are guilty of this murder. Each was involved in the attack that night.

"Each participated in that attack and in doing so each demonstrated an intention to cause Christopher Lemonius at the very least, some really serious harm."

Speaking of the charges of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice he told the court: "There was a cover up or clean up. Clothes disappeared, clothes that must, given the nature of the attack, have been covered in blood.

"Phones stopped working. Discarded weapons were recovered and hidden.

"In this case the allegation is that they assisted in the immediate aftermath of the attack and in the days that followed to ensure that the police would not find important pieces of evidence linked to the killing.

"In short, the Crown say, they were part of a planned 'cover up' operation following the killing."

Allal Lamzini, and Yamina Lamzini, he said, also 'lied' to police who interviewed them the same night about what had allegedly happened inside their home.

In body worn footage shown to the jury yesterday the pair appeared to outright deny hearing anything untoward happening inside of their home.

All of the defendants deny the charges against them and the trial, which is expected to last up to eight weeks, continues.

  • Those charged with one count of murder are:

Yasine Lamzini, 20, of Jourdain Road, Oxford

Rashaun Stoute, 24, of Church Cowley Road, Oxford

Yousef Koudoua, 28, of Balfour Road, Oxford

Connor Woodward, 24, of Haldane Road, Oxford

Carlos Spencer, 26, of Wynbush Road, Oxford

Otman Lamzini, 24, of Jourdain Road, Oxford

  • In the same trial, Allal Lamzini, 69, and Yamina Lamzini, 57, both of Jourdain Road, Oxford, each face one count of perverting the course of justice.
  • Saffon Fakir, 26, of Territorial Way, Oxford, and a 17-year-old boy from Oxford who cannot be named for legal reasons, are also both accused of one count of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.