Sheffield Crown Court: South Yorkshire man jointly-accused of murdering teen declines to give evidence during trial

A man who has been jointly-accused of murdering stabbing victim Joe Sarpong has declined to give evidence during a trial.

By Jon Cooper
Tuesday, 26th July 2022, 2:45 pm

Sheffield Crown Court has heard how 27-year-old Jacob Carroll has pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of 18-year-old Joe Takyi-Sarpong but he and 26-year-old Jordan Davies have both denied murdering Joe on October 31, last year, near to the derelict former Doncaster County Court building.

Mark McCone, prosecuting, previously told the trial jury Joe had been with friend Warren Flanagan when a group started shouting and as Joe and Warren ran they were allegedly pursued by the defendants on bicycles.

Mr McCone added Joe’s body was later found with a stab wound to each leg on November 1, 2021, near the old Doncaster County Court, after he was spotted by motorists nearly 12 hours following the alleged incident.

Pictured is Doncaster teenager Joevester Takyi-Sarpong, who died aged 18, after he suffered two stab wounds to his legs near Doncaster city centre.

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Defence barrister Bryan Cox QC told the jury on July 26 that Davies will not be giving evidence so he will not be questioned or cross-examined.

Mr Cox confirmed Davies understands that by choosing not to give evidence the jury may draw inferences.

However, Carroll has admitted to being a drug addict who had been selling drugs to feed his crack cocaine habit and he claimed he had been trying to protect his “patch”.

Police put in place a road closure near Trafford Way, Doncaster, as they launched an investigation into the death of 18-year-old Joe Sarpong whose body was found nearby.

Mr McCone, prosecuting, claimed Joe had climbed over locked gates at Catherine Street and the defendants had allegedly gained access via Trafford Way where they were out of view from CCTV cameras.

Carroll admitted he jumped over the fence and saw a knife on the ground and he warned Joe not to come back while prodding towards him with his flick-knife to intimidate him as he kicked out.

He also claimed he had jumped back over the fence and re-joined Davies near Trafford Way and they cycled away and he had not intended to inflict any injury, or serious injury, or to kill Joe.

Carroll also said Davies sold drugs separately but they were not in business together and he had not seen Davies with a weapon.

The court heard Joe died from blood loss and haemorrhaging from the stab wounds but mainly from the right leg.

Following the arrests of Davies and Carroll, who both have previous convictions and are of no fixed abode, they responded with no comment interviews.

Homeless Carroll, who had been staying at a property on Exchange Street, Doncaster, and Davies have both pleaded not guilty to murder after they have been accused of acting together in a joint enterprise.

Despite Carroll entering a guilty verdict to manslaughter, the Crown Prosecution Service has refused to accept this plea as an alternative to murder.

Carroll told the jury he had achieved motor mechanic qualifications, had an apprenticeship with First Buses and he had worked as a fishmonger before he became addicted to cocaine and became homeless.

Judge Jeremy Richardson QC told the jury: “The next stage is for counsel to make their final speeches to you. First the prosecution and then moving through the defence.”

He added he would subsequently sum up the case before the jury begins its deliberations.

The trial continues.