The trial of five men accused of the murder of Steven Willis will resume on Monday at Teesside Crown Court.

Dominic Pickering, Mark Pickering, Jack Cross, Kieran Ibitson and Jahmal Weaver all deny the murder and manslaughter of 27-year-old Mr Willis on April 16.

Mr Willis died after an incident on Meadowcroft Road, Normanby.

The accused also deny charges of wounding with intent to cause serious harm, though Ibitson has admitted the serious assault against his uncle, John Pickering.

Jurors were told at the outset that the trial, in front of High Court judge Mr Justice Males, could last more than five weeks.

The trial has been ongoing for three days so far.

Steven John Willis, who died following an incident in Meadowcroft Road, Normanby
Steven Willis (Image: Collect Unknown)

Day three ended as the jury was shown video interviews of Lennon Pickering – Steven’s half-brother and son of John Pickering, Steven’s dad.

Key points in the trial so far include:

• ‘Nightmare’

Steven Willis’ half brother, Lennon Pickering, described the “nightmare” which unfolded outside his home on Meadowcroft Road, Normanby, on the night of April 16.

He said he and Steven, 27, were both “sticking up for my dad” when Mr Willis was knifed to death after a wake.

Lennon told murder trial jurors that his father John, 45, had been told in a phone call “we’re coming and all three of youse have had it”.

• Car arrives with a screech

He told how a silver Fiesta car arrived with a screech and five men, including Mark and Dominic Pickering and Kieran Ibitson, got out at about 10.20pm.

He, his father and his half-brother Steven Willis went outside.

Ibitson is accused of stabbing all three – his uncle and two cousins – killing Mr Willis as he went to his dad’s aid with a wound to the heart.

• ‘Straightener and fisticuffs’

In the earlier days of the trial, the jury heard evidence from the first witness, John Pickering.

He cried in court as he watched CCTV footage of his son on the night of his death.

He said he fought with one of the defendants, his nephew Mark Pickering, at a wake and arranged a “straightener” on April 16.

He said he expected it to be “one-on-one fisticuffs” with “Queensberry rules” and no weapons at his home on Meadowcroft Road, Normanby.

It ended with 27-year-old Mr Willis lying dead in the street after he was stabbed to the heart, Teesside Crown Court has heard.

• ‘They’ve stabbed me’

He told how he and Mark Pickering squared up and exchanged a couple of blows before he felt a “body shot” to his side.

It felt like a punch but blood squirted out and he shouted: “They’ve stabbed me.” He did not know who inflicted the blow.

He said he drifted in and out of consciousness as he headed back to his home and saw his son Steven wrestling in a “tug of war” over a samurai sword.

• Steven Willis collapses

Ibitson is accused of driving his knife through Mr Willis’ breastbone into his heart with “considerable force”, causing death in minutes from the devastating injury.

John Pickering saw Steven walking towards him with a “twitching motion”, but saw no blood or injury, and heard “a frenzy of noise”.

Steven collapsed in the kitchen then again outside as they went to a friend’s car.

Mr Pickering said he put his son in the recovery position and tried to “work on him” before the ambulance crew arrived.

• Details of accused

The men standing trial are Dominic Pickering, 23, of Grinkle Avenue, Park End; his brother Mark Pickering, 32, of Greenham Close, Thorntree; Cross, 21, of Olney Walk, Park End; Weaver, 22, of Rounton Green, Berwick Hills; and Ibitson, 21, of Beresford Crescent, Thorntree.

Proceeding

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