Search

Luke Harwood murder accused Jovan Roberts said he tried to stop attack in Romford

17:51 06 March 2013

Roberts said he tried to stop the attack on Luke, 18

Roberts said he tried to stop the attack on Luke, 18

Archant

One of the accused killers of teenager Luke Harwood told a court how he desperately tried to stop the attack.

Jovan Roberts, 28, said co-accused James Danby, 27, was “going crazy” as he punched the victim and he tried to calm him down by telling him he was ruining his dinner.

“I’m pushing him against the wall saying ‘Come on, leave him. Come on, calm down. I have got to go. You are going to make me burn my chicken.’”

Luke, originally from Harold Hill, had moved into a council house in Romford occupied by Roberts, Danby, Tony O’Toole, 29, and Emma Hall, 21, the Old Bailey has been told.

Luke died because a girl accused him of raping her, a claim later dropped, jurors heard.

Roberts said he was present at the start of the assault but left to go to his own bedsit within council house in Crow Lane, to eat his meal.

He said he heard Danby arguing with the teenager about the rape claims in Luke’s bedroom and he went in to tell Danby to calm down.

Danby took a picture to show the girl and she confirmed that Luke had attacked her, even though she later accepted he did not.

Roberts said he knew the rape claim was not true and he tried to persuade the girl to tell Danby.

But he heard Danby shouting at Luke: “It’s you, it’s you, you tried to lie to me.”

“He picked him and hit him in the face with a couple of punches,” said Roberts.

When Danby put Luke in a headlock and repeatedly punched his already bleeding face, Roberts said he pulled Danby’s arm away so the victim could breathe.

“Then Luke falls down to the floor,” he said.

“He is getting up and Jay [Danby] is still screaming at him and I am screaming at Jay.

“Jay picks him up from the floor and is punching him. He has got him in the corner.”

Roberts claims he tried to intervene again by “sweeping” Luke out of the corner but it was clear Danby would could not be reasoned with.

“He had gone crazy,” said Roberts.

Luke was taken to a field off Broadmead Road, near the Orchard Estate, in Woodford Green, where he died after his head was stamped upon.

Danby, Hall, O’Toole and Roberts deny murder and causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

Hall, Danby and O’Toole, along with Billy Duggan, 21, and 20-year-old Khalid Hassan, deny perverting the course of justice.

All the defendants lived at the bungalow in Crow Lane.

The trial continues.

Latest Romford News Stories

Yesterday, 12:00
Charlie Condou and Victoria Yeates in The Crucible

You may not think a play written in the ‘50s about witch trials in the 17th century would have much in common with today’s audiences.

Yesterday, 10:00
Marion James and reporter Ryan Tute discussing the work that went into getting everything together. Picture by Ellie Hoskins

People have the chance to delve deep into the police’s archives following the launch of a new exhibition featuring some never-before-seen documents and artefacts.

Fri, 17:31
Dennis Kutyauripo, 22, says he

The older brother of a 16-year-old boy who was stabbed to death by his former friend, has said he “feels sorry” for the killer.

Fri, 17:00
From left, Havering Council's head of clinical practice Dave Tapsell, director of children's services  Tim Aldridge, and Robert South head of care resources

Despite Ofsted inspectors rating a vulnerable children’s service as requiring improvement, its department head remains optimistic.

Fri, 16:50
A man was robbed at knifepoint earlier today outside Tesco Extra, Rainham. Picture: Havering MPS Twitter

A man is in police custody after a male was robbed at knifepoint.

Fri, 16:11
Diana award winner Kieran Goodwin in his home

This week, Romford’s Kieran Goodwin, chief executive of youth charity World Youth Organisation (WYO) which celebrated its first anniversary, picked his top 10 all-time favourite tunes.

Fri, 15:01
Charlie Kutyauripo, 16, was murdered in Woodford Bridge. Photo: @MostAuthentic

A 17-year-old boy was today convicted of stabbing his former friend to death outside a birthday party, just over a year after the incident.

Fri, 14:30
Harry and some of the toys he donated with Michelle Fitzgibbons and the mascot of Romford Shopping Hall, Roary.

An 87-year-old avid stamp collector and a big ‘Dulux’ dog were to thank for a big bundle of toys being donated to children in hospital.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

News from your area

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

Competitions

Are you in need of a new kitchen? Try our competition and you could win a brand new one!

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

MyOffers H&M Competition

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now