A teenager standing trial for the fatal stabbing of Gordon Gault allegedly exchanged messages with his associates asserting that it was a “kill or be killed world” and that “murder gonna happen.” During the proceedings at Newcastle Crown Court, the jury was presented with a series of Snapchat exchanges among the six defendants involved in the murder case. Carlos Neto, one of the accused, denies the charges of murder, alongside Lawson Natty, Benedict Mbala, Daniel Lacerda, and two minors whose identities remain confidential. The victim, Gordon, tragically passed away six days after the alleged attack on November 15 last year.
Prosecutors argue that the incident was a retaliatory act, born out of an ongoing cycle of violence. Reading through the Snapchat messages, the jury was exposed to Neto’s comments about the ruthless nature of the world, stating the need to “exterminate” Gordon’s associates. Disturbingly, these exchanges also mentioned a “massacre.” Neto purportedly asserted that he carried a knife, cautioning Gordon and his associates not to underestimate him or believe he would refrain from using it. Additionally, he expressed his unwavering self-confidence, declaring that he never lost fights and describing acts of violence as “character building” with no room for remorse.
Further revelations unfolded during the trial, with Neto’s friends claiming he was creating a “nice list” of individuals he had fought with. Another co-accused, the 17-year-old, allegedly described the thrill he experienced when engaging in violence, using the term “choppers” to refer to knives. Meanwhile, Lacerda admitted to carrying a knife at all times, emphasizing the necessity of being armed. Natty’s statement, “down for whatever,” further highlighted the disturbed mindset within this group.
Within the message exchanges, the jurors also discovered discussions about “torturing” someone and “lighting him up.” Additionally, chats involving Gordon and his friends suggested the presence of a weapon, with Gordon himself requesting someone to “bring the shiv” (knife) just days before the fatal incident. The prosecution further presented footage of Mbala being assaulted on the same day Gordon was killed, allegedly fueling the motive for revenge.
Carlos Neto, 18, Lawson Natty, 18, Benedict Mbala, 18, Daniel Lacerda, 18, and the two unnamed minors all pleaded not guilty to the charges of murder and wounding with intent. The trial is ongoing, and these distressing revelations only shed light on the dark reality that formed the backdrop for Gordon’s untimely demise.
1. What is the significance of the Snapchat messages in the trial?
The Snapchat messages presented in court exposed the mindset and intentions of the defendants in the murder case. They discussed the ruthless nature of the world, mentioned a potential “massacre,” and expressed a lack of remorse for their violent actions. These messages played a crucial role in establishing the motive and culpability of the accused individuals.
2. What do the terms “choppers” and “shiv” mean in the context of the messages?
In the context of the messages, “choppers” and “shiv” both refer to knives. The defendants used these terms to discuss their willingness to resort to violence and harm others.
3. How did the Snapchat messages further the prosecution’s case?
The Snapchat messages provided evidence of premeditation, showcasing the defendants’ mindset prior to the alleged murder. The messages demonstrated a pattern of violence, a willingness to carry knives, and expressed excitement about engaging in acts of violence. This strengthened the prosecution’s argument that the attack on Gordon was driven a desire for revenge.