06:10PM, Tuesday 10 March 2020
A ‘hunting-style’ knife was found covered in blood near to the scene where teenager Elton Gashaj was stabbed to death in Salt Hill Park, a court has been told.
A murder trial continued into the 15-year-old’s death at Reading Crown Court this week.
A 15-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, denies murder but has admitted a charge of possessing a blade or pointed article.
Today jurors heard a statement given to police by Jessica Tracey who had been playing tennis at the town centre park on the evening of September 21 last year.
She told police that she stopped playing at about 6.20pm when she heard a scuffle breaking out in the nearby skate park.
The statement, read out by prosecutor Alan Blake, said: “I wasn’t really sure what happened but it didn’t sound serious.
“It then went very quiet and that made me think the fighting was over and then we realised it was eerily quiet.”
The court was told she then spotted a group of ‘four or five’ boys walking away with one of the group appearing to throw an object into some reeds near to the tennis courts.
“There were four or five boys but one stood out,” the court heard.
“I saw him throw an object into the reeds and then they sauntered off.”
The statement added: “I was quite shocked at his demeanour.
“He was very relaxed and calmly threw it into the bush as if it was something that didn’t matter.”
Members of the public informed the police they had spotted an object being discarded into nearby bushes.
A 10 to 15cm long ‘hunting-style’ knife which was covered in blood was then discovered by officers, jurors were told.
The court then heard from a witness who picked the defendant up the following day and drove him to Maidenhead Police Station to hand himself in.
He told jurors the defendant claimed he had been stabbed by Elton when the two became involved in a confrontation in Salt Hill Park.
He said the 15-year-old told him he had tried to stab Elton in retaliation but only ripped his jumper.
The trial continues.
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