'Postcode' gang feud led to murder, court told

A FEUD within a Sheffield 'postcode' gang led to the murder of a 23-year-old man in a city centre nightclub, a court heard this week.

Brett Blake bled to death after he was stabbed in his neck and stomach in two separate attacks inside Uniq in Carver Street in June.

Two former friends, Danny Hockenhull, aged 24 and Curtis Goring, aged 27, are accused of killing him in a planned attack resulting from infighting among members of the same S3 postcode gang.

They deny murder in a trial that started at Sheffield Crown Court on Wednesday.

Mr Blake's last few moments alive were captured by CCTV at the club and on a police van parked outside.

He was seen walking out of the club and along Carver Street until he disappeared and made his way to hospital, where he died.

Gary Burrell QC, prosecuting, said the CCTV footage from inside the club captured the moments Hockenhull and Goring knifed their victim.

He said Hockenhull lunged at him first on the crowded dance floor, severing the jugular vein in his neck, and Goring lay in wait behind a speaker and struck as Mr Blake walked past, also puncturing a major vein.

Mr Burrell QC said at the time of the murder all three men were members of the S3 gang and that they started feuding six months earlier after a new gang member, Barrington "Wasman" Wallis, slashed Mr Blake across his face.

The gang split into two separate factions.

On the night of the murder, according to the prosecution, Hockenhull telephoned a female friend warning her not to go out, telling her there was going to be "a blood bath".

Mr Burrell QC said: "All three men – Blake, Hockenhull and Goring – knew one another very well. They effectively grew up with one another.

"They were part of a gang associated with the so-called S3 postcode area, the Burngreave and Pitsmoor areas. That is why they were known to each other and at one stage they had all been friends.

"A serious disagreement developed leading to two different factions emerging – those who associated with Hockenhull and Goring and those who associated themselves with the deceased. This was not just a falling out between friends.

Sides had been taken."

The court heard that in the months leading up to the murder there had been a number of violent incidents involving the three former friends.

In one Goring pulled a knife on Mr Blake when the murder victim himself had gone out intent on revenge for being slashed by "Wasman".

A month before the killing Mr Blake, of Longley, was punched in the eye by Hockenhull in another city club.

Three days before Mr Blake died he slashed Hockenhull across the face when he saw him at a car wash, leading to Hockenhull smashing his windscreen in revenge and threatening to kill him.

CCTV footage shown in court revealed Hockenhull and Goring got into the club without being searched by bouncers.

Hockenhull, of Hawkshead Road, Grimesthorpe, also denies a charge of wounding with intent after a nightclub bouncer was injured on the same night and possessing an offensive weapon in a public place.

Goring, of Rolleston Road, Firth Park, also denies affray relating to another disturbance said to have broken out in the club on the night of the killing and possessing an offensive weapon in a public place.

Hockenhull's girlfriend at the time of the murder – Carly Lowe, aged 20, of Farm View Road, Kimberworth, Rotherham – is charged with assisting an offender, along with Jamie Dyer, 24, of Parson Cross, Sheffield. Both deny the charges.

Jurors yesterday visited the scene of the attack.

The case continues.

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