Sheffield Crown Court: Teenage boy, 15, denies hurting man who died after an alleyway attack

A teenager has denied hurting a man who was allegedly murdered after he suffered fatal injuries during an alleyway attack.

Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 8:38 am

Sheffield Crown Court has heard during a trial how the 15-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, and three others Shae Nicholson, Martell Brown, and Kian Gerrard have all denied murdering Jerry Appicella who was attacked in an alleyway off Hickleton Street, in Denaby Main, Doncaster, near a Go Local shop.

John Harrison, prosecuting, told the jury 51-year-old Mr Appicella, who had drug and alcohol problems, was attacked in the evening of December 3, 2019, and he was found by police deceased with a head trauma 12 days later at his bungalow on Craganour Place, Denaby Main.

All four defendants have pleaded not guilty to murder, but Mr Nicholson has pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

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Police launched an investigation after 51-year-old Jerry Appicella, of Denaby Main, Doncaster, was allegedly attacked in an alleyway near Hickleton Street, Denaby Main, Doncaster, on December 3, 2019, and was later found dead at his home.

The court heard how the youth was seen holding a pole on CCTV which he said he was messing around with.

He said he placed the pole in a bush before going into the Go Local shop where he talked with Mr Appicella before urging him to leave because he claimed some girls did not want to be in the shop with him.

As Mr Appicella left, the youth claimed Mr Appicella and Mr Nicholson exchanged insults and as Mr Appicella walked towards the alleyway he was followed by the youth with the pole, Mr Gerrard, Mr Brown and others while Mr Nicholson appeared to be waiting at the other end of the alleyway.

The youth said during an altercation at the end of the alleyway he initially stepped away.

Deceased 51-year-old Jerry Appicella, of Craganour Place, Denaby Main, Doncaster, pictured, was found dead at his bungalow by police on December 15, 2019.

He said: “As there was an altercation Jerry had his walking stick in the air and I didn’t want to be hit by his walking stick.”

The youth added Mr Brown “roundhouse-kicked” Mr Appicella to the head which put him to the ground and the youth claimed he hit Mr Brown to stop him and Shae Nicholson stamped on Mr Appicella’s head.

He said: “Shae was really stamping on his head and you could hear it.”

The youth added: “Martell opened his eyes and looked at what Shae was doing. It was horrible.”

The youth said he had not been aware of any decision to attack Mr Appicella, and he did not mean to harm him and he did not take part in the attack or hit him.

But Mr Harrison, prosecuting, claimed the defendants beat, kicked, and stamped on Mr Appicella and struck him with a weapon in a joint-attack.

The youth and Mr Nicholson had answered no comment during police interviews but Mr Gerrard told police he had been present during an assault but had not been involved.

Mr Brown told police he had told others to stop and claimed when Mr Appicella was attacked he had tried to get someone off him.

Mr Brown, aged 24, of Colliery Road, Doncaster, Mr Gerrard, aged 19, of Lincoln Close, Denaby Main, Doncaster, and the 15-year-old boy, from the Doncaster area, all pleaded not guilty to murder. Mr Nicholson, aged 20, of Lincoln Close, Denaby Main, Doncaster, also denies murder but he has admitted manslaughter.

The trial continues.

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