Teen Lewis Lane cleared of murder now acquitted of serious assault
Holly Court in
Northfleet, where James Green (pictured below) was found dead last
A teenager who was acquitted just over a month ago of murder has
now been cleared of involvement in a serious assault.
Lewis Lane was on trial in December with Tommy Presley, who was
convicted of the manslaughter of James “Jay” Green and locked up
for 11 years.
Both youths had denied murder and the alternative charge of
Lane, of Warwick Place, Northfleet, could not be identified at
the time because an order was in force banning his identification
because of his age, then 17.
But he turned 18 in January and a judge this week lifted the
Lane, Austin Mays, 24, of Orchard Road, Gravesend, Michael
Johnson, 25, of London Road, Gravesend, Sonny Barnes, 18, of
Huntley Avenue, Gravesend, and a 16-year-old boy, from Gillingham,
had denied attempting to cause grievous bodily harm to James Reader
and assaulting him causing him actual bodily harm on March 7 last
But the prosecution dropped the case against them at Maidstone
Crown Court on Monday citing “grave witness difficulties” as the
Andrew Espley, prosecuting, said Mr Reader was not
in contact with the police and was not answering telephone
Two other witnesses had also not cooperated and there was an
element of hostility.
“These are the three witnesses on whom we rely,” said Mr Espley.
“The decision has been taken to offer no evidence against all five
Judge Jeremy Carey, who presided over the murder trial, recorded
not guilty verdicts.
A jury heard how Presley, 19, was armed with a knife when he
went to 29-year-old father of five Mr Green’s home at Holly Court,
Northfleet on June 21 last year and stabbed him.
The jury rejected Presley’s claim that he acted in self-defence
and stabbed the victim with his own weapon.
The court heard Mr Green was the victim of a hate campaign on
The Hive estate after he was accused of being a grass.
Presley, of Bankside, Northfleet, claimed Lane played no part in
his clash with Mr Green.
Lane chose not to go into the witness box to give evidence. Mr
Green’s next door neighbour said he heard Lane “roaring” at Presley
in the street within minutes of the stabbing: “What have you just
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