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Trial begins of teenagers accused of murdering Kyle Yule in Gillingham street

Violence spilled out on the streets of Gillingham when a group of teenagers, some armed with knives, went out looking to kill or injure their rivals, a court heard.

Victor Maibvisira, 19, three 17-year-olds and a 16-year-old all deny murdering Kyle Yule. They also all deny violent disorder.

Kyle, who was 17, was fatally stabbed in East Street in Gillingham as he tried to flee to his home in nearby Hamilton Road on Friday, October 6, last year.

Kyle Yule was stabbed to death in Gillingham
Kyle Yule was stabbed to death in Gillingham

Prosecutor Steven Perian QC said the five were all members of a group.

Kyle and friends were in a rival group. There was a history of conflict between them.

Mr Perian said on the evening of October 6 the defendants, some or all armed with knives, set out to kill or at the very least cause grievous bodily harm to members of the group.

They first went to Corporation Road looking for a member of the rival group and then made their way to East Street to the home of another member of the same group.

They came across a Renault Clio that Kyle was sitting in. They attacked the car to get Kyle out of it.

A witness later told police they were attacking the car “as if they were possessed”. Kyle got out of the car and ran towards East Street.

The defendants’ group chased him as he headed for the home of his best friend. He was knocked to the ground and attacked on the front garden outside number 24 East Street.

Another witness told police: “They were on him like vultures, kicking and punching him.”

All the youths had their hoods up. They were all stamping on Kyle, who was shouting: “That’s enough. Help, help, that’s enough...”

“During the attack Kyle received five stab wounds and a number of blunt force injuries to his body,” said Mr Perian.

“The cause of death was as a result of a stab wound to his right armpit area. It caused a cut to a large blood vessel called an axillary artery.

“The doctors were unable to save him. He died on the operating table in the early hours of October 7.”

Mr Perian continued it was not possible to say which of the defendants stabbed Kyle. They participated in the attack by either stabbing him or knowing others had a knife and would use it, he alleged.

They continued in the attack intending to kill him or at the very least cause him grievous bodily harm.

“This was a group attack by these defendants on a defenceless young man who died from a stab wound delivered by one of them,” said Mr Perian.

The 16-year-old was the first to be arrested and the picture that emerged from him was that he was part of a group who all carried knives except him. He talked about previous conflicts with Kyle’s group.

A shrine was set up in memory of tragic Kyle Yule outside his Gillingham home
A shrine was set up in memory of tragic Kyle Yule outside his Gillingham home

He admitted he was at the scene of the fatal attack, but claimed he was not involved. He said he saw all his co-defendants punching and kicking Kyle, who was on the ground.

But he didn't see anybody with a knife at any point that day and didn't know how Kyle received the stab wounds.

They had all been in Hillyfields park and were joined by two boys from Sittingbourne. They were discussing that a youth had stolen the bike of Maibvisira, known as V or Vee.

They went to the youth’s house to ask for its return. They then went to East Street where they saw a silver car.

Boy D said Vee shouted “Oi” and Kyle ran from the car. Vee and another youth attacked the car. As Kyle was by the front door of No. 24, Vee “stormed” up to him. Kyle punched Vee and Vee punched him back.

Others rushed Kyle and all of them were punching and kicking him as he was on the ground.

Boy D said he and three others were not involved in attacking the car or Kyle. He ran away from the scene with the others.

“He said this was a revenge attack on Kyle Yule because he had previously attacked Vee,” said Mr Perian.

Maibvisira and a 17-year-old (Boy C) both answered no comment after their arrest. Another 17-year-old, Boy A from Sittingbourne, gave a prepared statement and answered questions.

He said he was walking in East Street with friends on October 6 when he saw Kyle sitting in the silver Clio. Some of the people he was with started smashing the windows of the car.

Kyle, he said, jumped out and ran across the road. Boy A said he went up to the car and slashed a tyre. He said he looked across the road and saw the other youths were stabbing Kyle. He added he ran off and went home.

During the interview he was not prepared to name those involved in the attack on Kyle because he did not want to be a snitch and was aware of the consequences if he did.

He did say that two youths he saw with knives on October 1 were the same two he saw with knives attacking Kyle.

Boy A said he got rid of his top to change his appearance and got rid of the knife he used to slash the tyre by throwing it into a pond in Sittingbourne.

He said he ditched the knife after reading about Kyle’s murder on KentOnline. He did so, he said, because he feared he would go to jail.

Kyle Yule suffered a fatal stab wound to his armpit
Kyle Yule suffered a fatal stab wound to his armpit

Asked if it was because he popped the tyre, he replied: “No, but I was there like, joint enterprise. I hear all these things. I’m from London. I’ve seen people go to jail for that type of stuff.”

Another 17-year-old (Boy B) also gave a prepared statement in which he said: “I deny inflicting grievous bodily harm on Kyle Yule. I did not stab him at any time and I deny that any of my actions have led to the murder of Kyle Yule.

“I deny causing damage to a silver Renault Clio, as alleged. I also deny pursuing Kyle when he has fled from the car. I will not be linked forensically and I will not be seen on CCTV to be causing harm to Kyle Yule.

“I have played no part in the murder of Kyle Yule. I have no issues with Kyle Yule. I do not know him personally. I have no reason to want to hurt him.”

Mr Perian said there were a number of incidents between the groups before the fatal stabbing.

One involved a witness whose home overlooks Gillingham railway station seeing trouble on the evening of August 10 last year.

There was a group of 20 to 30 teenagers shouting and screaming and pointing at each other. The woman saw a black youth pull out a sword. The rest of the group moved away.

The youth with the sword moved towards a teenager she believed was Kyle, because she had seen a picture of him in a Kent Messenger newspaper.

She saw on Facebook that a boy called Kyle had been killed in Gillingham and recognised him from his picture.

The girlfriend of Kyle’s best friend said she was present when her boyfriend received a Snapchat video message from Maibvisira and a “big black boy” saying: “Get your coffin ready. Game on.”

Another witness told how Vee chased her, her boyfriend and two friends while holding a Samurai sword and calling them “pussy”.

Mr Perian said Boy C and Maibvisira had admitted threatening another teenager with a sword during an incident outside the Fleur de Lis pub in Gillingham on October 17.

Kyle’s best friend said there was no such thing as a gang. G10, he said, was just a “messenger group” of about 15 who arranged nights out and took the ---- out of the Chatham boys. He added they had loads of fights with them.

Mr Perian said police spoke to Kyle and his friend on October 5 about the violence and how they were involved and said they needed to devise a plan to remedy the situation.

A PC noticed the youths were smirking and told them: “This isn’t ------- funny. One of you will be dead soon.” Kyle replied: “Don’t worry, I can run fast.”

"They were on him like vultures, kicking and punching him" - witness, speaking to police

Maibvisira, of St John’s Road, Gillingham, and one of the 17-year-olds have admitted threatening “another” with a machete in Gillingham Road, Gillingham, six days earlier on October 1.

One of the 17-year-olds has denied affray, using unlawful violence, on that date.

Maibvisira and the four others, from Gillingham, the London Borough of Croydon, Sittingbourne and Stevenage, Hertfordshire, have been remanded in custody.

The trial is expected to last up to six weeks.

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