Murder trial jury hears how 21-year-old man Tcherno Ly was stabbed to death in street by rival as 'Chapeltown Carnival was in full swing'

A young man was stabbed to death in the street during Chapeltown Carnival by a rival he had been involved in a fight with just weeks before the fatal attack, a murder trial jury heard.
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Tcherno Ly, 21, died from a stab wound to his chest during the incident on Chapeltown Road as the area was packed with people celebrating the annual event on August 25 last year.

Beni Nami, 20, and Hussein Semusu, 21, are on trial at Leeds Crown Court accused of murder and possession of an offensive weapon.

Both men deny the charges.

Tcherno Ly suffered a fatal stab wound to his chest on Chapeltown Road on August 25, 2019.Tcherno Ly suffered a fatal stab wound to his chest on Chapeltown Road on August 25, 2019.
Tcherno Ly suffered a fatal stab wound to his chest on Chapeltown Road on August 25, 2019.
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The prosecution case is that that Nami inflicted the fatal knife wound before fleeing the scene with his friend Semusu, who is alleged to have encouraged the stabbing.

Nicholas Lumley QC, prosecuting, said: "The Chapeltown Carnival, or Leeds Carnival, was in full swing when these two young men deliberately stabbed another young man, Tcherno Ly, on Chapeltown Road.

"The stabbing was quickly and forcefully achieved and so too was the death of Tcherno Ly, he could not have survived the attack."

Mr Lumley told the jury Nami has admitted being involved with Mr Ly in the moments around the killing and has admitted punching him.

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He said: "In this case, the prosecution say that he is the knifeman, that he is the man who physically stabbed Tcherno Ly.

"The issue for you in this case is whether he was that young man."

The court was told Semusu was present when the killing happened..

The prosecutor said: "He was very close to the events and was plainly a part of them, encouraging Beni Nami, sharing his desire to cause serious harm to Tcherno Ly, if not kill him.

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"The issue for you in this case is whether he was involved as part of the deliberate attack or was merely in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"In a joint offence people, inevitably, play different roles."

The court heard Nami and Mr Ly had fought with each other on August 10 and Mr Ly sustained an injury to his mouth.

Nami later described the incident as a fight which he had won

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Mr Lumley said Nami and Semusu were friends and could be seen on CCTV footage in the Chapeltown area on the afternoon and evening of the incident.

The court was shown footage of the defendants together shortly before 10pm making their way across Chapeltown Road.

Semusu was wearing distinctive clothing including a brightly coloured bandana and cap.

The stabbing took place a short time later near to Button Hill.

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Mr Lumley said: "The actual stabbing cannot be seen on the footage. The precise roles, therefore, of these two men may never be known.

"What is clear, is that these two young men, quickly and together, slip away from the scene."

The jury was told both defendants could be seen on the footage fiddling with the waistbands of their trousers as they left the scene.

A face covering was found on the route taken by the two men and was forensically linked to Nami.

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My Ly was already unresponsive by the time police and paramedics arrived on the scene.

Mr Lumley said Mr Ly suffered a single stab wound to the left side of his chest which cut through major blood vessels, causing "torrential blood loss" which would have killed him very quickly.

Nami was also injured during the incident and his clothing had damage consistent with being damaged by a knife.

A knife was found at the scene which contained Mr Ly's DNA on the handle and Mr Nami's DNA on the blade.

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Mr Lumley said the forensic evidence from the knife was consistent with the weapon being used by Mr Ly to injure Nami.

He said: "Tcherno Ly may not have been entirely innocent; there being no good reason to be armed in that way.

"But it has not, not yet at least, been suggested that either of these defendants had to stab Tcherno Ly in order to defend themselves, or others nearby.

"The severity of the wound to Tcherno Ly could hardly be said to be a defensive prod or warning to back off."

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A second knife was found at Nami's home on Nassau Place, Chapeltown.

It had been cleaned but Mr Nami's blood was recovered from the weapon by forensic officers.

Mr Lumley said it is the Crown's case that the weapon had been used to inflict the fatal injury.

When interviewed by police Nami told officers he had been approached by Mr Ly who asked him if he wanted to fight.

Nami said he punched Mr Ly twice after he swung at him.

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The defendant said: "I went up to him, like rushing. Like I punched him twice and like punched him then I walked off. Then after that it may have been, the guy was dead and stuff like that...I seen him...he dropped to the floor."

Semusu, of Grange Avenue, Chapeltown, said he was in Potternewton Park for much of the evening with his girlfriend.

The court heard he refused to comment when CCTV footage was put to him.

The trial is expected to last three weeks.