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Teen stabbed in Canterbury gang attack says her head was kicked 'like an American football'


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A teenage girl says she was kicked in the head “like an American football” before being stabbed during a brutal gang attack.

Channey Smith has told a jury how she was set upon by a woman and two men in an alleyway in Brymore Road, Canterbury.

George Roberts is alleged to have held a kitchen knife to the woman's throat
George Roberts is alleged to have held a kitchen knife to the woman's throat

Naomi Roberts, 20, is accused of plunging a knife into Miss Smith’s leg after trying to aim it at her chest.

Her brother, George Roberts, 21, is alleged to have held a knife to Miss Smith’s neck, while ex-boyfriend Frederick Lamb, 19, is accused of kicking Miss Smith in the head.

All three are on trial at Canterbury Crown Court for their part in the “sustained and brutal attack”, which is said to have stemmed from a previous family feud.

Prior to the day of the alleged assault Naomi is said to have messaged Channey on Facebook, threatening: “I’m going to kill ya.”

Appearing in the witness box, Miss Smith told jurors how she had left a Princes Trust workshop with classmates to cut through Brymore Road when the defendants and a small number of others cut off their path.

Naomi Roberts hides her face as she leaves Canterbury Crown Court
Naomi Roberts hides her face as she leaves Canterbury Crown Court

She says the attack broke out when Naomi grabbed her by the hair and swung her around.

The situation intensified when brother George pushed a blade to her throat, repeatedly asking “if it felt good”, she said.

Miss Smith told how Naomi and an unidentified teenager then pulled her to the floor, where she suffered sustained kicks to the head.

Naomi was then heard shouting “get me the knife George, get me the knife,” the court heard.

Miss Smith said: “I was getting kicked in the head and then it just stopped. I sat up and everything was spinning,” she said.

Frederick Lamb is alleged to have kicked the woman's head like an American football
Frederick Lamb is alleged to have kicked the woman's head like an American football

“That is when Fred (Lamb) kicked me in the head and told me not to tell anyone about this.”

“How did he kick you?” prosecutor Kieran Brand asked.

“How you would kick an American football over the posts.

“It made my head bounce off the wall in front of me. Everything started to spin - my vision started to pulsate.”

Miss Smith added she only realised she had been stabbed after her leg felt “cold and wet.”

'Everything started to spin - my vision started to pulsate...'

“I tried to push myself up and felt an excruciating pain in my leg,” she said. “That is when I saw the stab wound on my leg.”

Miss Smith says she had been forced to protect herself by grabbing the sharp end of the blade, causing a cut to her hand, when Naomi moved it towards her ribs, the court heard.

But Naomi’s lawyer told the jury Miss Smith was the aggressor and that the defendant did not try stabbing her in the ribs.

“Naomi’s case is when you saw her you went for her, you attacked her. What do you say to that?” he said.

“I say she is twisting the events,” Miss Smith replied.

“She says that you were the aggressor, what do you say about that?”

“I say she is lying,” Miss Smith replied.

Charlotte Oliver, for George Roberts, argued a knife was not used in the attack.

“George didn’t ask if (pushing a knife to your throat) felt good,” she said.

Canterbury Crown Court
Canterbury Crown Court

“He did, he said it multiple times,” said Miss Smith.

“It didn’t touch your neck did it,” Miss Oliver continued.

“It did,” Miss Smith maintained.

When Lamb’s lawyer, Ben Irwin, suggested he did not kick her in the head, Miss Smith said: “I watched him do it.”

The trio are said to have fled the scene after the attack, as onlookers called 999.

Naomi and George Roberts, of Radfall Rise, Whitstable, deny wounding with intent and threatening another with a blade.

Lamb, of the same address, denies wounding with intent.

The trial continues.

Benjamin Deskaj is accused of witness intimidation
Benjamin Deskaj is accused of witness intimidation

A fourth defendant is on trial accused of intimidating a young witness to the alleged attack.

Benjamin Deskaj, 22, is said to have confronted the girl in Canterbury city centre days after the incident, telling her “they know where you live”.

The jury was told Deskaj beckoned the girl over to him by the clock tower in a bid to intimidate her.

In a police interview played to jurors, she said: “He asked me if I gave a statement about what happened to Channey and I said ‘no’.

“He went ‘they know where you live and they are going to your house’.

“I was quite scared actually because he knows a lot of people.

“I haven’t been to Canterbury since, in case I see them.”

Benjamin Deskaj, 22, outside court
Benjamin Deskaj, 22, outside court

Asked what she was worried about, the girl replied: “Getting hurt myself.”

She told officers she was walking with Miss Smith and other Prince’s Trust classmates when the attack unfolded.

She claimed the Roberts siblings and Lamb ambushed them, with Naomi leading the attack as the word “knife was shouted.”

After running to get help, the girl returned to find her friend seriously wounded and “a lot of blood.”

“Channey was screaming, holding her leg, on the phone to her mum saying she had been stabbed,” she told officers.

Deskaj, of Hytom Drive in Deal, denies witness intimidation.

To read more of our in depth coverage of all of the major trials coming out of crown and magistrates' courts across the county, click here.

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