Friday brief: “I’m dying” court hears final few words of stabbed teenager Dylan Holliday
Plus budget debates, some news in brief, Westminster Watch, our independent business of the week and activities for the weekend
A teenager brutally stabbed in an underpass attack by two masked teens, rang the emergency services to say he was dying, a murder trial has heard.
Dylan Holliday, 16, made the 999 call from undergrowth close to the Park Farm underpass on Wellingborough’s Queensway estate, after suffering a fatal stab wound to his heart during last August’s summer holiday.
But when the emergency services arrived he was unresponsive and died later that evening at Northampton General Hospital.
Northampton Crown Court heard yesterday his alleged attackers, two boys aged 17, demanded items from Dylan and another boy before attacking them both with a rambo style knife.
After the brutal attack two balaclaved boys, who were dressed in all black, rode off on Dylan’s bike and went to the One Stop Shop in the town.
The second boy, who was taken to hospital by his family, survived after suffering a single stab wound to his chest.
Both accused boys, who were aged 16 at the time of the attack have been given anonymity. They both deny charges of murder, attempted murder and possession of a knife.
In his opening statements prosecutor Peter Joyce QC told the jury Dylan had been listening to music and smoking cannabis with two other boys at around 6pm on August 5th when they were approached by two masked and hooded figures.
He told the courtroom, which included members of Dylan’s family and friends that the third teenager shouted: “We’re about to be stabbed. We’re going to get done.”
This boy managed to escape but Dylan was set upon by one of the masked boys with a knife and stabbed several times while the other accused is said to have attacked the other boy. The prosecution’s case is that after Dylan’s attacker stabbed him, he then joined the other attacker and inflicted a knife wound on the other boy.
The same knife was used to stab both victims and it’s the prosecution’s case that while one boy is accused of using the knife, both are guilty of murder.
Peter Joyce QC told the jury: “The prosecution’s case is that these two stabbings were committed by these two defendants acting together . . .in pursuit of a common aim to attack the people they came across by this underpass. That is why they are jointly charged (with three counts).”
Detailing the aftermath of the stabbings the prosecutor said: “By 6.15pm Dylan was calling for an ambulance. He was calling saying he had been stabbed. He said ‘I’m dying’. He said there had been two of them and the knife was a rambo type knife that had been used.”
The court heard the two accused had met up at 5.15pm in Wellingborough town centre and had briefly met with two others before taking bikes not belonging to them and cycling in the direction of the Park Farm underpass.
After the attack Dylan’s mother went to the scene where her son had been seriously injured and told police another boy had been stabbed and had been taken to hospital by his family. Another man then approached the police and said his son had been with the victims just before the attack. The boy then returned to the scene at the police’s request.
Later that evening one of the accused boy’s family members reported him missing when he had not returned home by 11.40pm. He was arrested in the early hours of the following morning (August 6) trying to escape from a house in the Nest Farm area of the town.
The second boy was arrested on August 12 when he surrendered himself to the police.
Neither teenager answered questions in the police interview.
The defence counsel are expected to address the jury tomorrow. The trial continues.
News in brief
Extinction Rebellion activists entered the Barclaycard headquarters in Northampton yesterday exactly two years after a protest there by the group landed a number of campaigners in court. The group, who were dressed in cleaning uniforms along with one Freddie Mercury lookalike, told the company to ‘clean up’ and stop funding fossil fuels.
University of Northampton lecturers were back out on strike this week in what is the beginning of a number of planned protests over the next month. They join 67 other institutions throughout the country who are part of the University and College Union (UCU). The Union says that staff are walking out due to 'beyond disgraceful' pay, working conditions and pensions.
The next strikes take place from February 28 to March 2. The last day also coincides with a student strike organised by the National Union of Students.
The University of Northampton has announced that Professor Anne-Marie Kilday will replace Nick Petford as Vice Chancellor when he steps down in the summer. She is joining Northampton from Oxford Brookes where she is Professor of Criminal History and Pro Vice-Chancellor Student Experience and University Community
West Northamptonshire Council has announced that Northampton market will be moving to the Commercial Street car park on the corner of St Peter’s Way while work to regenerate the Market Square is carried out. As reported by the Chronicle and Echo, many traders are upset by the move, with some warning it could mark the end of the already struggling market.
Yesterday the county’s two unitary councils had their annual budget meetings.
Here’s the news from both:
Amendments to the budget put forward by the opposition Labour Group and Kettering Green Alliance were voted down, as expected by the ruling Conservative group.
Finance member Cllr Lloyd Bunday told the council as he set out how the £296m would be spent: “I believe we are building a council that is bigger, better and stronger than that which has gone before.”
Labour’s Cllr Simon Rielly took a shot at the conservative party’s cuts to local government funding. He praised the officers for putting together the budget in ‘extremely difficult circumstances’.
He accused the local and national tory groups of “lacking in vision, lacking in ambition and lacking in investment, both working together hand in hand in failing the residents of North Northants.
“Everywhere working people see prices going up and shortages on the shelves. Families are struggling with the cost of living, businesses are hit by supply chains and household budgets are being stretched thinner than ever.
“This budget does nothing to deal with the spiralling costs of living across North Northants. It is a shocking missed opportunity by a tory led council that is completely out of touch with its residents.”
He said the promise of a great new unitary for Northamptonshire had not been delivered and instead ‘we have absolute chaos’.
He claimed 330 staff had quit the council and there were more than 20 people currently working their notice.
Kettering Green Alliance leader Emily Fedorowycz thanked the administration for dedicating £1m over the next three years to take the authority to carbon neutral but said her party had deep concerns it was not enough. She also urged the council to take on more staff dedicated to climate change.
Independent councillor Jim Hakewill said the authority currently had 708 vacant posts yet it was spending the same on salary as the previous year with 25 per cent less people. (The amount of agency staff in the council has been well documented).
A council tax rise of 2.99 per cent was agreed.
The budget meeting with speeches by councillors across the political spectrum can be watched here
As in the North, amendments put forward by the opposition were voted down last night. Labour and the Lib Dems highlighted the impact of the rising cost of living and suggested that money from the council’s forecasted reserves, which are much higher than usual, should be used to help some of the most vulnerable people in society.
Labour’s proposed amendments, which were estimated to cost £5.5m, included more money for domestic abuse services, better investment in social care and a number of green proposals.
Labour’s Danielle Stone said:
“We agree that because we are a new authority, still finding our feet, we need to double the amount of general reserves from 5-10 per cent. This would give us £35m. This means we have unallocated reserves of £47 million.
“We are proposing an additional modest spend of £5.5m.
“All our proposals will strengthen our communities, protect, and look after our children and help make West Northants a cleaner, safer, greener place to live.”
A key proposal by the Lib Dems was for a further £300k to be spent on Children’s Services.
Lib Dem Jonathan Harris said:
“While there is more money in this budget, we propose spending more [on children’s services]. This would be funded by the £887k proposed for highways - both important areas but changing priorities is a choice worth making in the long-term.”
Cabinet member for Finance Malcolm Longley told the meeting:
“It is clear WNC is in a strong position and I intend for WNC to stay in a strong position.”
He said that the amendments proposed by the Lib Dems and Labour were good ones but that he did not wish to change the budget on “an evening’s discussion.”
“I’m very pleased by this debate, we’re not arguing about not having enough money, we’re arguing about how to spend it. There are lots of good arguments….I think a lot of these ideas will come to fruition.”
You can watch the full debate here:
The shocking invasion of Ukraine this week means that fresh attention is being paid to Russian-linked donations to UK political parties. A photo from 2019 has re-emerged of former prime minister Theresa May with Lubov Chernukhin, one of the biggest female donors to the Tory party and wife of a former Russian minister. Pictured alongside them at the Conservative Party dinner is MP for South Northamptonshire Andrea Leadsom.
Independent of the week
Willow and Grey in Higham Ferrers stocks items from 28 independently owned businesses. Their window displays are as wonderful as the many unique gifts and home items inside.
🎨NN Contemporary Art is holding an online event for artists on Saturday. The session will be led by Arit Emmanuela Etukudo and will begin with an artist talk by Arit followed by a peer review. More details here: https://nncontemporaryart.org/ed_engagement/work-in-progress-with-arit-emmanuela-etukudo%ef%bf%bc/
🎵 NMC is hosting a local music event at the Garibaldi Hotel in Northampton on Saturday from 8pm Find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/thegaribaldihotel/events
🤠There’s an American-style barn dance at Naseby village hall on Saturday from 7pm. Tickets are £8.50 for children and £12.50 for adults and you get a free hotdog. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/american-barn-dance-tickets-204427998647?fbclid=IwAR0vlzPQL12GnwpObGZIblSWscEXaGSQ-uKBi5mDr-qvGLghgl72HMDxMzs
🎺Thrapston Town Band are playing the best of British music from the Proms tonight at the Plaza. Tickets can be purchased from the Town Council office (77 High Street, Thrapston), by calling 01832 734673 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and proceeds go to the Northamptonshire Domestic Abuse Service.
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