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Teenage murder trial begins
A TEENAGER was stabbed to death by a 16-year-old who counted the thrusts so he could later boast he had knifed his former friend 12 times, a murder trial was told.
Michael "Angel" Graham, 19, from Scarborough, was subjected to the "cowardly attack" by the younger boy from behind while on his knees during a brawl on Scarborough seafront, the court heard.
The pair had fallen out after Mr Graham taunted the other boy for sleeping with a 12-year-old girl, it was alleged. A second victim, a 17-year-old boy who was stabbed in the leg, gave evidence via video link at Teesside Crown Court today and said the pair were confronted by the killer's gang near the Olympia arcade around 11.30pm.
He said: "There was a massive group of them. They all surrounded him - like a horse shoe."
The jury heard 6ft tall Mr Graham was on top of an 18-year-old man and getting the upper hand in the fight when the killer stepped forward and repeatedly stabbed him in the back.
"I thought he was just punching him," the surviving teenager continued. The second teenager was then also stabbed as he went to help his friend.
The court heard the knife went into his knee and fractured a bone - but he did not realise it until he saw the knife in his hand.
Earlier, Tim Roberts QC, prosecuting, told the court killer and victim had traded insults by text message.
He said they had been friends but Mr Graham sent text messages labelling the other teenager a paedophile because he had been in a relationship with a girl under 16.
The accused told a girlfriend “he was heading for a showdown with Michael Graham, that he was prepared to stab him and that Michael Graham deserved to die”, Mr Roberts alleged.
"The blows were inflicted with such rapidity and stealth that it was not obvious to onlookers that a weapon was being used at all," Mr Roberts said.
Mr Graham stood up and tried to place his attacker in a head lock then collapsed as the gang left. The knife had been bought earlier that day from the Ancient Warrior store on the seafront.
Mr Roberts told the jury: "The prosecution case is that the defendant was intent on killing Michael Graham or at least doing him some really serious bodily harm.
"You may gauge the force behind the attack from the fact the defendant cut his own hand as he pushed the handle so hard that his hand slipped onto the brand new blade, cutting it between thumb and forefinger.
"It is a measure of the calculation with which this crime was committed that the defendant seems actually to have counted in his head each thrust of the knife at the time because afterwards he was to text several friends with the information that he had stabbed Angel 12 times."
Mr Graham, who was living in Scarborough but also had links to Chapeltown in Leeds, died from multiple wounds shortly after the incident on April 13.
The accused, who is now 17 but cannot be named for legal reasons, denies murder.
An order has also been made banning identification of anyone else involved in the case - because of their ages - apart from the dead man.
The trial continues.