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Elton Gashaj murder trial: Court hears witness thought youngsters were play-fighting

David Lee

Elton Gashaj murder trial: Court hears witness thought youngsters were play-fighting

An eyewitness to the stabbing of Slough teenager Elton Gashaj thought the youngster had been play-fighting with another boy before he collapsed on the floor in a pool of blood, a court heard today (Thursday).

A murder trial into the 15-year-old’s death in Salt Hill Park at 6.20pm on Saturday, September 21 began at Reading Crown Court this week.

The defendant, also 15, who cannot be named for legal reasons, denies murder.

Yesterday, the court heard a video statement made to police by a 12-year-old boy who was in the park on the evening of the attack.

He told officers that he had been playing in the skate park shortly after 6pm when he saw a gang of teenagers teasing Elton by hitting him with a stick.

In his statement, played in court, he said: “I was feeling pretty calm about the situation although I did keep an eye on them because I got the feeling something was going to happen.”

The youngster went to get a drink and, on returning to the skate park, he saw Elton and another boy fighting but he thought it was a joke, he told officers.

His statement said: “I started walking over to the bench where I was sitting and then I stopped because I saw them fighting.

“I didn’t know what happened. I thought they were joking around and they were just swinging each other as a joke.”

He added: “I don’t know where it came from, it was either a knife or a stick, and I don’t even know at what point he stabbed him.

“All I saw was he started collapsing and thought maybe he had just hit him too hard.

“Then I saw the knife, or maybe it was a stick, and it was about 30cm long.”

The boy said he looked to the floor and saw blood spreading underneath Elton’s left underarm and when he looked up he saw the other boy holding ‘either a stick or a knife’.

He heard someone from the group scream ‘call 999’ before people came rushing over to the stricken 15-year-old.

Defending, Caroline Carberry QC, said to the young eyewitness in court: “You told police in your first interview that the first time you saw the knife or the stick was when the boy was collapsing.

“When you first saw something in the other boy’s hand you thought it was a piece of bamboo they were playing with and when you first saw the boy holding something you noticed that he had put his hand over his mouth and he was in shock.”

The witness replied that he had spotted either a knife or a stick in the defendant’s left hand when Elton had fallen to the floor.

The trial continues.

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