As the Kieran Williams trial continues, two men who are charged with his murder have sought to blame each other in court, with one accusing the other of having killed the 18 year old in a row over money.
Kieran Williams’ body was discovered in a makeshift grave near an industrial estate more six weeks after he went missing. The body had been inflicted with multiple stab wounds, and an attempt had been made to burn his remains.
The jury has heard that, 18, from Sunderland, suffered “at least 20” stab wounds to his chest, torso, neck and had injuries to his hands, arms, legs and feet, which may have been from trying to protect himself.
Two men, Ben Cook, 19, Louis Hackett, 20, both deny Kieran’s murder and are standing trial at Newcastle Crown Court. Jurors have heard Kieran was the victim of a slash attack in the weeks before he was killed and it is claimed he had been offered £5,000 from the perpetrator to drop the charges.
Giving evidence in his defence, Hackett said Cook had wanted to get his hands on that cash and stabbed Kieran to death during a row about it. Hackett told jurors Cook had talked about the money in the days leading up to Kieran’s death and said: “He wanted to get the money.”
The court heard on April 18, the last day Kieran was seen alive, he and Hackett met with Cook on some wasteland. Hackett said: “He told me to bring Kieran down. He just said he wanted to speak to him.”
He told jurors when he and Kieran arrived, Cook appeared “full of tablets” and was drowsy with red eyes and saliva coming from his mouth. He added: “Ben started arguing with Kieran, they were arguing for a bit then Ben pulled a knife out.”
Hackett said the argument between Kieran and Cook was “about the money” and added: “He pulled a knife from the back of his trousers, Ben, then started stabbing him in the chest then stabbed him again.”
Hackett said Kieran had tried to run away after being stabbed about “three times or something” but Cook caught up with him. He added: “He just fell to the floor. Ben jumped on top of him and started stabbing him. I couldn’t talk, I couldn’t move, I was in shock.”
Hackett told jurors he saw a “half dug” grave nearby and Cook told him to “start digging the hole more” and added: “I felt like I had to, if I didn’t do it I would probably be with Kieran now”.
He said he helped Cook put Kieran into the grave when it was fully dug and added: “He had a bottle of petrol or something. He squirted it on top of Kieran. He had a piece of cloth in his hand. He set the cloth alight then put that in with Kieran.”
Hackett claimed he was fearful himself or his family could have been put in danger if he did not go along with what happened.