Seafront murder trial: update

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A teenager stabbed to death in a brawl was targeted by a “hate club” who all shared a mutual dislike of the victim, a murder trial jury was told.

Michael “Angel” Graham was mortally wounded 12 times in the back by a 16-year-old armed with a flick knife bought by an older friend earlier that day, the court has heard.

The teenager and seven friends had surrounded Mr Graham, 19, and a 17-year-old pal around 11.30pm on Foreshore Road one Saturday night last April, the murder trial has been told.

Mr Graham’s friend was also wounded in the knee as he went to his aid during the fatal violence, the jury heard.

Mr Graham and his accused murderer had been friends, but fell out after Mr Graham taunted the younger boy for sleeping with a 12-year-old girl, it has been alleged.

The accused, now 17, has told the jury he rounded up his friends that night because he feared he was going to be “hunted down” and “sliced up” by Mr Graham and his pals with knives.

But Tim Roberts QC, prosecuting, said the texts showed from the outset Mr Graham had challenged the defendant to a fair fight, with no weapons or “back up”.

The defendant said he did not believe Mr Graham would meet him unarmed or alone.

He also thought he would lose a one-to-one fight with the older, taller boy anyway, even though they were well matched physically.

Mr Roberts said the other teenagers called into Scarborough that night had all had trouble with Mr Graham or had fallen out with them.

“It was like the ‘Michael Graham Hate Club’,” he added.

“You had a large group with you who all disliked him and a knife in your pocket you had bought that day.

“The motivation for your stabbing of Michael Graham in the back was revenge upon him.

“It was revenge for having called him nasty names in text messages and suggesting people in Scarborough would have a low opinion of you because of what you had done.”

The teenager replied: “It inflamed my anger. But I did not want to seek revenge on Angel. It was a chance meeting on that night.”

Angel - who had been living in Scarborough but had links to Chapeltown, Leeds - died from multiple wounds to his back shortly after the incident on April 13.

The accused, who is now 17 but cannot be named for legal reasons, denies murder.

An order has also been made banning identification of anyone else involved in the case - because of their ages - apart from the dead man.

The trial continues.