TEENAGER Lewis Talbot faces life imprisonment after being convicted of the murder of Jake Milton in Knowle West.
Bristol Crown Court heard the pair goaded each other with threatening phone messages before 17-year-old Jake was stabbed to death in the street.
After a series of Blackberry messages, which are known as BBMs and can be viewed by a selected group of friends, Talbot wrote: “Ima (sic) cut him open, bring him now.”
The court was told that later the same night Jake, from Bedminster, suffered five stab wounds in Cossington Road, Knowle West, and died of his injuries.
The blow that killed him severed the main artery to his heart.
Talbot, 18, of Kenmare Road, Knowle West, admitted stabbing Jake but said he did it in self-defence and had “no other option”.
Nathan Warburton, 19, of Leinster Avenue, Knowle West, who was charged with murder, denied being involved in the attack on Jake at all but was prosecuted on the grounds of being involved in a joint enterprise.
A jury of nine men and three women convicted Talbot of murder.
It acquitted Warburton of murder but convicted him of manslaughter.
Jake’s supporters taunted Talbot from the upper public gallery after the verdicts were returned in Court Two.
The Honourable Mr Justice Leggatt will sentence the two defendants this morning.
The jury heard that Jake and Talbot had a history – perhaps because of the areas they lived or perhaps because of a girl they liked.
Adam Vaitilingam QC, prosecuting, told the court a year before the fatal incident they had been involved in a fight, which had resulted in Jake head-butting Talbot and breaking his nose.
Between then and Jake’s death they exchanged “unpleasant and at times threatening” Blackberry messages and hostilities between the pair had become “very heated”.
On the day of the stabbing, June 14 this year, Jake had sent Talbot abusive and provocative messages, which were in turn responded to aggressively by Talbot.
The pair met at around 11.15pm, after Jake learned Talbot was in Cossington Road and went to confront him.
A friend of Jake’s, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said Jake “jumped out and ran at” Talbot when they arrived in a car.
He said he saw Jake grappling with Talbot. Warburton was holding a kitchen knife and waving it about.
He did not see Jake get stabbed or see Talbot with a knife – although Talbot admits having and using one.
Another of Jake’s friends, who also cannot be named, said Jake had been “pretty angry” when he got out of the car to confront Talbot but claims to have seen Warburton stab Jake, saying he ‘walked over and obviously stabbed him’ while Jake was on top of Talbot during the fight.
After his arrest, Talbot gave a prepared statement saying Jake attacked him with a baseball bat and then punched and bit him on the floor, adding: “With no other choice I picked up a knife and stabbed him. This was in self-defence.”
Warburton said he had gone to help Talbot after seeing Jake’s ‘crew’ armed with bottles and bats but insisted he had played no part in the attack.
But Mr Vaitilingam said: “Nathan Warburton came out for the fight alongside his friend Lewis Talbot, who he knew was armed with a knife.
“Witnesses have described Warburton as himself having a knife during the fight and it is plain that he was acting in support of Talbot.
“They were engaged in a joint enterprise, an unlawful assault on Jake Milton, which killed him. We say that makes them both guilty of murder.”
No knife that could be linked to the stabbing was ever found, despite extensive police searches.