Keelan Wilson murder trial: Father denies machete attack claim

The father of Keelan Wilson has denied his son slashed one of his alleged killers to the face with a machete months before his murder.

Gary Wilson, father of Keelan, appeared as a witness at Wolverhampton Crown Court
Gary Wilson, father of Keelan, appeared as a witness at Wolverhampton Crown Court

While being cross-examined during his evidence at Wolverhampton Crown Court on Wednesday morning, Gary Wilson said his 15-year-old son had not attacked Nehemie Tampwo in February 2018.

Tampwo is one of four 19-year-old men standing trial accused of killing Keelan in May 2018. The other three charged with murder are Tyrique King, Brian Sasa and Zenay Pennant-Phillips.

On Tuesday, Mr Wilson had told the jury he and his son had encountered Tampwo in Merridale in February 2018. He said that on the side of the road, Tampwo had produced an axe after asking Keelan to "come round the corner".

He added that the two had been friends before – but some "unpleasant" text messages had been sent to Keelan in early 2018.

The trial so far:

But Mr Balraj Bhatia, defending Tampwo, asked Mr Wilson whether Keelan had in fact produced a machete and slashed Tampwo across the face during the incident – which Mr Wilson denied, insisting it was Tampwo who had a weapon, namely an axe.

Mr Bhatia said: "On the evening of February 22, 2018, you were with your son in your van at around 8.20pm in Merridale. You were only made aware of Keelan seeing Nehemie when Keelan said 'there's Nehemie'. It was just a chance meeting."

Mr Wilson answered: "Yes."

Mr Bhatia said: "When he [Keelan] got out of the van, there was clearly a meeting of the two face-to-face. Could you see it?"

Keelan Wilson, 15, was fatally stabbed near his home in the Merry Hill area of Wolverhampton

Mr Wilson said: "Yes I could see that. I pulled up adjacent, I could see them. I could see what was happening.

"When I pulled up Keelan jumped out of the van, Nehemie was across the road, as Keelan went across the road I could see Nehemie.

"For a few minutes I thought to myself leave them, let them talk it out. I came out the van and could see Nehemie had a bag and he kept going to take it off – I thought this does not look right."

Mr Bhatia then asked: "Was it in response to Keelan taking a machete out to slash Nehemie across to face, to his lip? Did you see your son with a machete?"

Mr Wilson responded: "No that did not happen. No I did not [see my son with a machete]."

Mr Bhatia said: "Did you see your son being attacked by Nehemie with an axe? Did you take the axe off Nehemie?"

To which Mr Wilson said: "Yes [I saw it]. Yes I took the axe off him and put it in my van. It had a green handle."

On Wednesday afternoon, the jury was also shown CCTV footage from before and after a man the prosecution says was Keelan Wilson was seen in Legge Street.

The man said to be Wilson was chased by two men, one of whom was on a bike, before a shotgun was fired in his direction, the prosecution claims.

Sasa, of Long Ley, Heath Town; Tampwo, from Fern Grove, Bletchley; King, of Chelwood Gardens, Bilston, and Pennant-Phillips, whose address cannot be published for legal reasons, have all denied murdering Keelan.

The trial continues.

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