Teenager accused of murdering man with baseball bat during cannabis burglary at Leeds house

PIC: Scott Merrylees
PIC: Scott Merrylees

A man suffered “catastrophic” head injuries and died after being struck with a baseball bat during a burglary at his home, a murder trial heard.

A jury was told 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 heard Bickerdike and four other men kicked their way into the property on Coldcotes Crescent, Gipton, at 2am.

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

Tahir Khan, QC, prosecuting, said the four men went upstairs in search of the plants while Bickerdike remained downstairs.

Mr Khan said it was likely that Mr Amoh was laid on a settee in the lounge when Bickerdike used a baseball bat to strike three heavy blows to the head.

Mr Khan said: “The prosecution say that at the time that he delivered those repeated blows to the head of the victim, Declan Bickerdike must have intended to kill the victim or, at the very least, cause him really serious harm.

“If he had either of those intentions then that is murder according to the law of this country.”

The jury was told Bickerdike and the four other men have already pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary.

Mr Khan said Bickerdike claims that he caused the injuries while acting in self defence when Mr Amoh came at him with a Samurai sword.

The jury was told Bickerdike and the four other men ran from the property and failed to get help for Mr Amoh.

Mr Khan said: “He must have known that the man he had struck three times with a baseball bat was seriously injured and yet the defendant did nothing.

“He simply left the property without raising the alarm when it would have been so easy to dial 999 anonymously for the man he had just severely assaulted.”

Mr Amoh was found laying on the settee with head injuries beside a pool of blood a short time later 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 was told Mr Amoh moved to the UK in 2004 and was known to his friends as ‘Pappi’. Mr Khan said his friends described him as “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.

Mr Khan said Bickerdike attacked his cellmate, Christopher Sanderson, by pouring a kettle of boiling water over him as he slept on July 22, 2016.

The court heard Mr Sanderson woke up in “excruciating” pain and suffered burn injuries to his chest arms and back.

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

The court heard Bickerdike also told a nurse that he had “dared” himself to pour boiling water over Mr Sanderson.

The trial continues

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