A Swindon teen was killed on the way to meet his girlfriend by two balaclava-clad youths armed with machetes who were “looking for someone” to attack, a court heard.
Owen Dunn, 18, suffered ‘catastrophic’ injuries when he was ‘swiped’ with the large blade by a 15-year-old boy during a confrontation in Mazurek Way last December, a jury was told.
The youth, whose identity was concealed by a black face covering, was riding with pal Tyler Hunt, 18, when they both dropped their bikes to block the path and both brandished machetes, prosecutors said.
Both tried to ‘slash’ Owen in the chest and he suffered one wound, which punctured his heart. Owen rode off a short distance before collapsing in the street, and was pronounced dead at the scene.
The court heard he was also wearing a balaclava and carrying a machete, but none of the witnesses say he got it out. When paramedics tried to treat him it was found still tucked into his trousers.
At the start of the trial at Bristol Crown Court on Tuesday (14 November), the jury was told the 15-year-old admitted he inflicted the fatal wound and Hunt also now accepted he was there.
But both deny murder and manslaughter on the grounds of self-defence.
Opening the prosecution case, Michael Burrows KC said: “This case relates to the death of Owen Dunn on Sunday 4 December 2022.
“At around 1.30pm he was stabbed, killed, as he was riding his bike in Swindon – he was 18-years-old.
“The prosecution say these two defendants acted together to murder – they too were riding bikes – wore black balaclavas and both armed with machetes, large knives.
“The prosecution say the evidence says they were out looking for something.
“They got off bikes, got out knives, and as Owen Dunn approached on his bike – they attacked him – stabbed him to the chest.
“They rode away at speed on their electric bikes.”
Mr Burrows said Owen also rode on briefly on his bike from the scene before “crashing to the ground.”
On-lookers rushed to try and help him but it was “clear he was fatally injured” and was declared dead within an hour, the court heard.
Mr Dunn argued both carried out the murder as they “acted together and shared an intention to kill or at least cause really serious injury.”
Shortly before his death, Owen had sent a message to his girlfriend to say he was leaving.
“You can conclude he was anticipating meeting up with her,” Mr Burrows added.
Both defendants initially denied any involvement but both now accept they were there.
The 15-year-old accepts he stabbed Owen but both claim they were acting in self defence and did not intend to cause any injury.
Mr Burrows said the pair stayed together for over an hour after the attack and their movements were caught on CCTV and backed up by GPS on Hunt’s electronic tag.
The prosecutor told the jury both defendants have already pleaded guilty to possession of a bladed article.
He said witnesses at the scene described seeing both of them with their knives out and said those weapons had not been recovered.
He added: “The prosecution say they both got rid of weapons – you will want to consider why they got rid.”
During the opening, Mr Burrows also outlined some of the witness testimony that will be heard during the trial.
One described the pair as “obviously looking for someone.”
They said both pulled out knives from their trousers and one “swiped and missed” while the other caught him under the arm.
Another said Owen was “just riding and hadn’t done anything wrong.”
They described two cyclists “getting off bikes, and pulled out a silver machete and hit him”.
Another said “They just stabbed him.”
Another said they “blocked the path of the victim”.
The witness saw the victim ride on before hearing a “crash” and seeing him lay on the ground.”
They said they heard one of the defendants shout “oh f**k, he’s on the floor. Oh s**t.”
They said the other youth “didn’t seem frightened or bothered.”
The trial heard Owen suffered a left chest wound just below the armpit. A pathologist recorded the cause of death as “catastrophic bleeding” caused by a single stab wound to the chest that punctured the heart. He added death was “inevitable”.
The police investigation initially focused on another suspect, whose name was wrongly given by those at the scene, but the two defendants were eventually arrested and charged with murder.
During an initial police interview they both denied any involvement or being at the scene.
The trial, due to last up to three weeks, continues.
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