Scarborough murder trial: Suspect admits he lied to police on night Solomon Robinson was killed

A suspect in the Solomon Robinson murder trial admitted he lied to police when he told them he didn’t see anyone carrying knives on the night the 26-year-old was killed.

Wednesday, 27th January 2021, 2:48 pm
Updated Wednesday, 27th January 2021, 2:52 pm

Dawid Goral, 21, told officers he “didn’t see nobody with a knife” after handing himself in to police hours after the fatal stabbing.

But, giving evidence mid-way through the four-week trial on Tuesday, Goral said he saw two people - who he claimed were 18-year-old Kieron Watkinson and 21-year-old Callon Brass - brandishing bladed weapons moments before the killing near Scarborough Town Hall.

Goral - who claimed he hadn’t told police the truth initially because he feared repercussions for him and his family - said he heard Watkinson say “I’m going to bang him if he starts” in the run-up to the incident, which the prosecution claim was an ambush-style attack planned by all five suspects.

One man has admitted murdering Solomon Robinson (pictured); four others deny murder.

He claimed he hadn’t played any part in the attack in the public gardens outside the town hall in the early hours of October 20, 2019.

Tahir Khan QC, prosecuting, asked Goral: “Despite being ‘completely innocent’, (we say) you lied to police about where you were and what you were doing, and you made a prepared statement in which you told lies. You weren’t exactly honest in that, were you?”

“No, I wasn’t,” replied Goral.

“You saw two knives?” asked Mr Khan.

“Yes,” replied Goral.

“One of them was being carried by one of your friends? asked Mr Khan.

“Yes,” replied Goral.

“The other was being carried by someone you say you met that day?”

“Yes,” replied Goral.

Goral turned to the jury and said: “I’ve made a mistake by not co-operating with police. I was scared that if I spoke, that something would happen to me.”

Mr Khan said: “I suggest that what you have been telling the jury about your reasons for telling lies and misleading the police is a pack of lies, isn’t it?”

“I’m not misleading them about anything – I’m telling the truth,” replied Goral.

Mr Khan showed the jury footage of the harrowing incident which showed several silhouetted figures apparently fighting in the darkness in front of the town hall.

Goral - who was the first of the gang to walk into the gardens as Mr Robinson approached - claimed he moved away from the rest of the group just before the attack because he knew there would be trouble.

He was followed in by four other members of the group, including Stefan Selvage, 22, who rode up behind Mr Robinson on a bicycle, jumped off and plunged a long-bladed knife into his back.

The fatal blow almost pierced Mr Robinson’s entire body. He staggered away but slumped to the pavement just outside the gardens and lost consciousness, bleeding profusely from an 11-inch-deep wound. He was taken to hospital but died hours later after suffering “catastrophic” bleeding.

Three other knives could be seen in the footage, including at least two-long bladed weapons, brandished by silhouetted figures wearing hoods.

Two witnesses gave descriptions of a man matching Goral’s description wielding a long-bladed knife.

But Goral insisted he was the man on the edge of the video footage, stood away from the rest of the group as pandemonium broke out and that he didn’t see the fatal blow. He said he had jumped down over a small wall to avoid confrontation after “I’ve seen knives”.

The prosecution says the person stood at some remove from the rest of the group was not Goral and that all five men had gone into the park just before Mr Robinson arrived, ready to execute their plan as part of a “joint attack”.

Mr Khan pointed to the CCTV evidence which showed a group of men running from the scene following the attack.

He said that one of the figures seen fleeing had a “distinctive” gait which was peculiar to Goral.

Goral said he was “100-per-cent sure” that person wasn’t him.

The prosecutor pointed out that the man seen by witnesses brandishing a long-bladed weapon was described as gaunt-looking, with a pale complexion and wearing a blue top, which Goral was wearing on the night in question.

But Goral insisted he wasn’t carrying a knife, adding: “I distanced myself away (from the incident). When I got into the gardens … I heard shouting, noises and I turned round.”

Mr Khan asked Goral if he saw Mr Robinson acting aggressively in the moments before the attack.

“No,” replied Goral.

“Nobody was shouting or threatening you?”

“No.”

“I suggest there was not a hint of any trouble that would cause you to move off and distance yourself from others,” added Mr Khan.

He asked Goral: “(You say) you saw your good friend Callon Brass with a knife?”

“Yes,” replied Goral.

“And your not-so-good friend Kieron Watkinson with a knife?”

“Yes,” said the defendant.

Mr Khan told Goral: “I’m suggesting to you that this incident was something you knew was going to happen. I suggest that you went in there (as a group) in order for Solomon Robinson to be attacked.”

“No,” replied Goral. “I was in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong people. I didn’t know that that (stabbing) was going to happen. I didn’t see it happen.”

Goral admitted he did see the “glint” of a knife but said he didn’t see anyone carrying a blade before the attack.

“You knew three people in your group had knives?” asked Mr Khan.

“I didn’t,” replied Goral.

“I seen two people with knives; I didn’t see (Stefan Selvage) with a knife.”

“Do you know where these knives came from?” asked Mr Khan.

“I don’t, no, sir,” replied Goral.

In the hours leading up to the fatal attack, the five men - Goral, Watkinson, Selvage, Brass and 22-year-old Stevie Low - had been at a raucous, drug-fuelled party at a flat on North Marine Road where weapons were brandished.

Drug paraphernalia such as weighing scales were on show, along with wads of notes and lines of cocaine. Other drugs had been bagged up and at least two long-bladed weapons, including what appeared to be a machete, were seen in video footage filmed on a mobile phone.

Goral admitted the knives must have been carried from the party to the town centre, where the attack happened about 20 minutes after they left the flat.

But he said that when the group left the flat, “nobody told me anything about having knives in their possession”.

“Were you one of the two people apart from Selvage who had a knife?” asked Mr Khan.

“No,” replied Goral.

“A (male witness’s) evidence (is that) a white male with a pale complexion and gaunt face (was) holding a long-bladed knife whilst he was facing Mr Robinson. Was that you?” asked Mr Khan.

“No, sir,” replied Goral.

“Were you wearing a dark-blue hooded top?” asked Mr Khan.

“I was wearing a shiny-blue pattern coat,” said Goral.

“Was there anyone in your group wearing anything similar?” asked Mr Khan.

“I can’t remember,” replied Goral.

Andrew Haslam, defence counsel for Brass, asked Goral if one of the reasons the group left the house party to go into the town centre was to buy drugs.

“Yes,” replied Goral.

He is the second defendant to give evidence in court so far.

Brass, of Eastborough, Goral, of Durham Street, Low, of Longwestgate, and Watkinson, of Endcliff Crescent, all deny murder.

Stefan Selvage, of Colescliffe Road, has already pleaded guilty to the charge.

The trial continues.