Sarah Jones Q.C. and Peter Asteris prosecuted the murder of Taylor Williams. Williams was an 18 year old man who was the victim of a stabbing during a robbery which arose due to a County Lines drugs dispute.
The trial involved 3 Defendants, Olamide Soyege who was convicted of murder, conspiracy to rob and robbery and sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 32 years. Terrence Maccabee was convicted of manslaughter, conspiracy to rob and robbery and sentenced to a term of 13 years’ imprisonment. Paige Taylor was convicted of conspiracy to rob and robbery and sentenced to a term of 13 years’ imprisonment.
The first trial began in February 2020 but had to be stopped after delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The retrial, in front of Mr Justice Martin Spencer in Winchester Crown Court was also beset by problems caused by the pandemic but finally concluded in November 2020.
The jury heard evidence that Soyege, Maccabee and Taylor were working for a drugs line operating in Basingstoke and robbed the drugs runner of a rival network in a local park in broad daylight – taking the runner into an alleyway and removing drugs from his anus with a spoon before selling them on to waiting users. A few hours later they went to the base of another drugs line and Soyege and Maccabee entered the flat to rob the group of 3 teenagers dealing there whilst Paige Taylor waited outside. The flat was locked to prevent escape and when Williams attempted to push Soyege away he was stabbed, one wound severing an artery in his arm as he tried to block the knife, and a further stab wound to the heart causing his death. Terrence Maccabee was also stabbed a number of times as in panic and fear the teenagers fled and jumped from the window of the first floor flat but Williams collapsed on the ground a short distance from the flat and died shortly afterwards.
Quite aside from the challenges of the pandemic the case presented a number of evidential issues – most significantly how to negative self defence when those in the room were either Defendants, a deceased victim, unwilling to speak or part of a rival network and unwilling or unable to explain how Maccabee received his injuries. A case was carefully built on the events of earlier in the day, witnesses to the planning and journeys to both robberies and other circumstantial evidence.
Further information on the case can be found on the BBC website.
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