Keelan Wilson trial: Victim's mother relives night of murder in court

The mother of murdered Keelan Wilson said she knew it was her son lying injured behind her home after recognising an item of his clothing, a jury heard.

Keelan Wilson, aged 15, was found fatally stabbed near his home in the Merry Hill area of Wolverhampton prompting a major murder investigation
Keelan Wilson, aged 15, was found fatally stabbed near his home in the Merry Hill area of Wolverhampton prompting a major murder investigation

Kelly Ellitts told Wolverhampton Crown Court she was at her home in the Merry Hill area of Wolverhampton on the fateful night that her 15-year-old son was stabbed more than 40 times in the back of a taxi in Langley Road on May 29, 2018.

Giving evidence on Tuesday afternoon, Ms Ellitts told the court that she was in her bedroom when she saw blue flashing lights going past the house at around 11pm that night – when she believed she heard her son's name through an open window. Upon hearing Keelan's name for a second time, she rushed out of the house to go and see what was happening.

She said: "I could not see where the incident had taken place. I saw blue flashing lights go past, I did not do anything to begin with. My bedroom door was open and I heard a bit of a commotion at the back of the house as the bathroom window was open.

"I heard what I thought was Keelan's name – I thought no it can't be his name. I did not think he would be at the back of my house. I heard his name for the second time. I panicked. I ran downstairs and outside. I turned left out of my house and left again down an alley. I saw one of my neighbours standing near the ambulance and she said it was not Keelan.

"I continued to walk over although she said it was not him, the fact I heard his name made me think it was someone he [Keelan] knew – I thought someone had been run over."

When asked by Mr Michael Duck QC, prosecuting, whether she recognised at that point it was her son, she replied: "yes". She told the jury she had recognised an item of her son's clothing – and quickly realised he had sustained a "number of wounds".

Keelan Wilson pictured with his mother Kelly

Ms Ellitts added: "They said I was not allowed in the first ambulance so I went back to my house to grab my car keys. When I came back outside they said there was a second ambulance and I could go in there."

But the court was told when Ms Ellitts arrived at the hospital she was told her son had passed away.

During her evidence, Ms Ellitts had told the hearing that on the day of her son's death, she had taken Keelan to have his hair cut at a barber's in Bushbury – before visiting the city centre to pick up some parcels. She parked her car in the Mander Centre and went into the centre with her younger son, leaving Keelan in the car.

She said: "I had contact with Keelan throughout. He was on the phone to me and told me something had happened in town. He told me he wanted to go and to come back to the car.

The trial so far:

"He told me someone he knew, Kai Bell, had been attacked in another barber's shop in town. I was told it was at Markies Barbers."

The court had previously been told that a violent incident took place on the day of Keelan's death in Wolverhampton city centre at about 3.40pm where hooded youths were seen waving machetes near Markies Barbers.

Ms Ellitts told the court her son had asked her to take him to see Mr Bell – which had resulted in an argument as Ms Ellitts did not want him to go. She later dropped him off in the Jones Street area at around 5.10pm.

She said she next heard from her son at around 8.20pm when he text her to say his battery was at one per cent so if she text him and it didn't go through, his battery had died. Less than three hours later, she discovered her son had been attacked near her home.

Victim's father recalls axe incident

Keelan's father, Gary Wilson, told the court on Tuesday afternoon that one of his son's alleged killers had pulled out on axe on them in an incident months before Keelan's murder.

Mr Wilson said he and his 15-year-old son had encountered Nehemie Tampwo in the Merridale area of the city in February 2018.

Tampwo is one of four men standing trial accused of killing Keelan. The other three charged with murder are Tyrique King, Brian Sasa and Zenay Pennant-Phillips.

Mr Wilson told the jury that his son and Tampwo had been friends – but some "unpleasant" text messages had been sent to Keelan in early 2018.

Keelan Wilson's parents, Gary Wilson and Kelly Ellitts with floral tributes left at the scene on the first anniversary of his death

He said: "They were unpleasant. There was only one text in particular that referred to his [Keelan's] mom, she had a newborn son. It was something about going down to his house and mentioned his grandad and brother.

"Keelan showed me and he was not happy about it. It said they were going to go into the house and do stuff to his grandad and brother.

"I had no idea why these messages were being sent. I told Keelan to just forget it."

The court heard that in February 2018, Mr Wilson and his son were driving along a main road in the Merridale area when they saw Tampwo – so they stopped the vehicle to talk to him to try and sort things out.

Mr Wilson said: "I was in my van with Keelan and Nehemie was walking on the pavement. I said to him [Nehemie] what's the problem we need to try sort this out, you've known each for a long time.

"He was just saying to Keelan to come round the corner. Nehemie had a JD bag around his shoulder. He kept pulling it off and saying come around the corner to Keelan.

"He took whatever he had in the bag out. I could see what was in the bag, it was an axe. When he took the axe out the bag I jumped on him, we went to the ground and the axe fell to the floor.

"I can't remember what he did but I grabbed the axe and took it to my van. They [Keelan and Tampwo] were scuffling. I said to Keelan 'let's go' and told him to get into the van. Nehemie asked for the axe back and I was not prepared to give it him back."

Sasa, of Long Ley, Heath Town; Tampwo, from Fern Grove, Bletchley; King, of Chelwood Gardens, Bilston; and Pennant-Phillips, whose home address cannot be made public, have all denied murdering Keelan Wilson.

The trial continues.

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