A TEENAGER accused of being part of a gang who attacked two men in Sheffield city centre, leaving them with horrific stab wounds, told a jury he didn’t join in with the violence, saying: “I wasn’t there.”
Yousef Alquebeiai and four of his friends allegedly set upon victims Paul Marison and Daniel Mace, knifing them in the back as they lay curled up on the ground in Holly Lane, near the City Hall.
But 17-year-old Alquebeiai told Sheffield Crown Court he caught a taxi back to his home in Firth Park before the incident happened.
He pointed himself out on CCTV footage which showed him arguing with a woman on West Street, after earlier spilling a drink on her in the nearby Redstone bar.
“She started swearing at me and I had a little argument with her,” he said.
“I went off on my own because I got punched in the face. I got into a taxi and went home.”
He said he caught a black cab outside Yates’s Wine Lodge, at the junction of Cambridge Street and Division Street.
Alquebeiai said he ‘disapproved’ of gangs carrying knives and that he was ‘very upset’ when the police came to arrest him.
Jurors heard he didn’t mention catching a taxi to the police, or in his defence statement.
“My solicitor advised me to say ‘no comment’,” Alquebeiai told the court.
“I was sleepy. It was early in the morning. I had just woken up and they put me in the back of the police car. How could I help when I wasn’t there?”
Ian West, prosecuting, said there wasn’t a taxi rank outside Yates’s.
But Alquebeiai replied: “There are always a couple of taxis parked up outside.”
Alquebeiai, of The Oval, Firth Park; William Maris, 18, of Downham Road, Firth Park; Sheldon Jordan, 17, of City Road; Reece Barnes, 18, of Delves Road, Hackenthorpe; and Jordan Campbell, 21, of Downham Road, Firth Park, all deny two counts of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
The trial continues.