The 16-year-old nephew of ex England footballer Shaun Wright-Phillips was stabbed to death after a high-speed car chase in stolen BMWs, a court heard.
Rhamero West was attacked and stabbed several times after he fled on foot when he crashed into a tree following a pursuit through rush hour traffic in Manchester, jurors were told.
Manchester Crown Court heard that he banged on the door of a house as he tried to escape a gang of attackers in Old Trafford on September 9 last year. Prosecutors said one of those chasing him shouted ‘got you’ before knifing him to death on Norton Street.
Ryan Cashin, 19, who is accused of the fatal blow, denies murder. Giovanni Lawrence, 20; Xavaiour Wynter, 18; and a 17-year-old boy who can’t be named for legal reasons are also accused of murder under the joint enterprise law. They have all pleaded not guilty.
Guy Gozem QC, prosecuting, told the court: ‘Whatever grudge or issue lay behind what happened, we say that their relentless pursuit of Rhamero West and their absolute determination to catch him is obvious.
‘From the lengths that they were prepared to go to throughout this very public chase, sometimes inside cars, sometimes outside cars, openly, brazenly carrying weapons.
‘The prosecution say that this was a joint enterprise, from beginning to end.
‘In other words, they all knew what they were doing.’
The trial heard that the chase, which lasted about 10 minutes, began following a ‘confrontation’ on Princess Parkway, at around 5:45 pm.
Rhamero, known to pals as Mero, was driving a stolen BMW 3 series, with friends also being in the car.
Witnesses said they saw the car being attacked by a man with a ‘large knife’ as it stopped at a red light.
Prosecutors allege the 17-year-old defendant approached Rhamero’s car before appearing to be ‘lunging and banging’ on it several times. During busy rush hour traffic, some drivers heard ‘banging’ noises and some thought it was gunfire, the court heard.
Rhamero then drove away, forcing his way through traffic, and was followed by two further BMWs, which were also stolen, the jury heard.
In his ‘desperation’ to get away, Rhamero’s BMW was being driven ‘erratically’ and ‘too fast’, jurors were told.
It went on the wrong side of the road, hit a car on Upper Chorlton Road, and then crashed into a tree, the court heard.
The BMW was now ‘useless as a means of escape’, and Rhamero and his friends in the car began to ‘run for their lives ‘, the prosecutor said.
Mr. Gozem said: ‘They had obviously seen the large knife that had been carried by the 17-year-old defendant, and what he was trying to do with it during the confrontation on Princess Parkway.
‘You may think they were running in fear for their lives.’
The two BMWs in pursuit stopped at the scene of the crash.
Prosecutors said the 17-year-old defendant, was said to be holding a knife, and Mr. Cashin started chasing Rhamero down Darnley Street.
The two defendants’ BMWs also followed, the jury heard.
Mr. Gozem said: ‘As Cashin ran along Norton Street, he caught up to the 17-year-old defendant, and we say the knife was passed by the 17-year-old defendant to him.
‘He then took over the lead in pursuit of Rhamero’s group with the knife in his hand.’
Shortly after, at about 6 pm, Mr. Cashin is alleged to have stabbed Rhamero on Norton Street.
A neighbour said she saw a male being chased banging on the door of a house to try and get in, but received no answer.
He then jumped over the wall to another house as he tried to get away.
Mr. Gozem said: ‘But he didn’t manage to escape.
The pursuing male caught up and shouted something like ‘arr got you!’, the jury was told.
She shouted out of her window to try to distract the attacker.
Mr. Gozem said: ‘She saw him plunge the knife down four or five times, despite the fact she was screaming at him to stop.’
A man in a BMW also shouted at the knifeman, telling him to ‘come on’ and ‘get in the car’ before the two cars left, according to the witness.
Mr. Gozem said: ‘Both BMWs sped off in the direction of Darnley Street, leaving Rhamero West to die.’
Rhamero was able to stand up and start walking, as blood pumped from his leg, but he was unsteady on his feet.
Neighbours came out to help him and tried to stem the bleeding.
He was rushed to the hospital but died shortly after 7:30 pm that day.
Prosecutors allege that the defendants planned to ‘dump’ one of the stolen BMWs before they all got in a taxi which stopped in nearby Hulme at around 7:45 pm.
They also allege that the four defendants had been in the two stolen BMWs prior to Rhamero’s death.
Mr. Cashin, of Hulme; Mr. Lawrence, of Moston; Mr. Wynter, of no fixed address; and a 17-year-old boy who can’t be named for legal reasons, all deny murder.
Author: Linda .R. Jones