Leeds teen 'did not intend to kill' man with baseball bat during cannabis burglary, murder trial told

A teenager accused of murdering a man with a baseball bat during a burglary told a jury he did not mean to kill or cause serious injury when he struck the fatal blows.

Thursday, 15th February 2018, 7:10 pm
Updated Thursday, 15th February 2018, 7:35 pm
Flowers left at the scene of the incident

Clifford Amoh, 29, died as a result of the injuries inflicted by Declan Bickerdike during the incident in which a gang targeted the property in Leeds in order to steal cannabis plants.

Leeds Crown Court has heard Bickerdike and four other men kicked their way into the property on Coldcotes Crescent, Gipton, at 2am.

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Flowers left at the scene of the incident

The group had met up before the incident, May 7, 2016, to plan the burglary.

The court has heard Mr Amoh was asleep downstairs on a settee when the men burst into the property.

Bickerdike gave evidence at the trial today, telling jurors he picked up the baseball bat and hit Mr Amoh three times as he tried to unsheathe a Samuari sword.

Flowers left at the scene of the incident

He told the court: "I looked at him in the face when I hit him first.

"Then I looked down at his hand and he still had the sword so I hit him again, then once again after that, and he finally dropped the sword."

Bickerdike's barrister, Jason Pitter, QC, asked: "In hitting him with the baseball bat, what were you trying to achieve?"

Bickerdike replied: "I wanted to disarm him."

Flowers left at the scene of the incident

Bickerdike then said: "I knew he was hurt. I didn't know how bad it was."

Mr Pitter asked Bickerdike: "Were you intending to kill him?" The defendant replied: "No."

Mr Pitter continued: "Were you trying to cause him serious harm?"

Bickerdike said: "No."

Flowers left at the scene of the incident

Asked why he left the property without calling an ambulance for Mr Amoh, Beckerdike said: "I thought he would be OK."

Mr Amoh was found laying on the settee with head injuries beside a pool of blood by his friend.

Emergency services were contacted and a telephone operator gave instructions to try to resuscitate Mr Amoh as he was not breathing.

Paramedics took him to Leeds General Infirmary but he was pronounced dead soon after reaching hospital.

The jury has been told Mr Amoh moved to the UK in 2004 and was known to his friends as ‘Pappi’.

His friends described him as a “sociable and placid young man.”He grew a small number of cannabis plants in the upstairs rooms of the house.

Bickerdike, 19, formerly of High Ash Crescent, Alwoodley, pleads not guilty to murder.

Bickerdike also denies a charge of inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent alleged to have been committed against a fellow inmate while he was being held in custody in Doncaster.

Jurors have been told Bickerdike attacked his cellmate, Christopher Sanderson, by pouring a kettle of boiling water over him as he slept on July 22, 2016.

Mr Sanderson woke up in "excruciating" pain and suffered burn injuries to his chest, arms and back.

Bickerdike later told officers he had inflicted the injuries as he felt his cellmate was a threat to him.

The trial continues