Luke Harwood’s rape accuser weeps as she recounts ‘beating that killed him’ - court

11:04 23 January 2013

Luke's body was found in Woodford Green

Luke's body was found in Woodford Green


A teenage girl who alleged a Luke Harwood had raped her, before withdrawing the claim, has described the “awful” savage group beating that led to his death.

The girl said she recognised Luke, who grew up in Harold Hill, when she saw him moving into a house.

The Old Bailey heard that Emma Hall, 21, James Danby, 27, Tony O’Toole, 29, and Jovan Roberts, 28, punched, kicked and stamped on Luke’s head during the attack in Romford on May 27.

Following the assault, in which his facial skeleton was crushed, the victim was allegedly taken to a stream and his body was discovered in Broadmead Road, Woodford Green, north east London.

“I recognised him because he tried to have sex with me two years ago when I didn’t want to,” she said in a statement.

The girl, who is not on trial, confirmed that Hall had said that she was going to “kill him” after being told of the rape claim.

She accused Luke, 18, of rape in May 2010, but gave police a statement in which she “made it clear she had not in fact been raped”.

When asked by James Danby’s barrister if his client was “controlling” the attack that then ensued, she replied: “Kind of.”

She said at one point Danby dragged the battered frame of Luke in front of her, and demanded: “Are you sure this is him?”

“I said I was definite it was him,” she told the court. “Jay [Danby] was holding him. His nose was bent and there was blood everywhere.”

Sobbing as she recounted him being hit repeatedly in a shower room, she whispered, “It was awful.”

Hall, Danby, O’Toole and Roberts deny murder and wounding with intent.

The trial continues.

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