Man murdered on way home from Tesco with 'Olympic torch' weapon after knocking boy off bike, jury told

A university graduate was beaten to death in a ‘revenge attack’ by two men after he pushed a boy off a bike, a jury has heard. David Allan, 23, died on June 5 this year on Wythenshawe Road in the Northern Moor area of Manchester. Aiden Matthews, 30, and Joseph Stott, aged 33, are both charged with one offence of murder.

Matthews, of Wythenshawe, has already pleaded guilty to manslaughter but denies murder. Stott, of Partington, Trafford, also denies murder. A trial at Manchester Crown Court heard Matthews was seen by witnesses delivering ‘at least five or six forceful, heavy blows with a metal torch’ to Mr Allan’s head and upper body.

Stott was also seen to deliver eight kicks or stamps, it was said. Mr Allan, a graduate of Plymouth University, was left with multiple bruising and abrasions all over his head and face, as well as deep internal bruising to both arms, legs and abdomen. He had been returning home after buying dinner at Tesco Express, the jury was told.

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Prosecutors also said that it most likely that one of the blows caused Mr Allan’s skull to rotate so violently that it tore the right artery inside the lower part of his skull near to the brainstem, which would have caused ‘immediate unconsciousness’.

Sadly, Mr Allan never recovered and was pronounced dead the following day on June 5 2020.

‘Revenge’ attack

It was suggested Mr Allan died in a ‘revenge attack’ by both Matthews and Stott, who were friends, as Mr Allan had been in a fight with Matthews just minutes before. The ‘catalyst’ of events came when Mr Allan knocked a 13-year-old boy off his bike, who was cycling very close to him with two others. Mr Allan was walking to Tesco Express to buy some dinner, prosecutors said.

“At 5:37pm, CCTV shows three boys on bikes crossing Moorcroft Rd,” said prosecutor Nick Johnson QC, opening the case to members of a jury. “One, who is wearing a grey and black coat, does a wheelie as they cross the main road.

Police and forensic officers on Wythenshawe Road after Mr Allan’s death

“As the three boys cycle past on the pavement very close to him, Mr Allan reaches out and pushes the one nearest to him, the same boy in the grey and black coat doing a wheelie earlier, which knocks him over. “He gets up, they then turn their bikes around and go back the way they came, tracking Mr Allan on the other side of the road as he enters Tesco.

“It can be inferred from what later happened, that the boy who was pushed went to tell his mother what had happened.” A few minutes later the boy’s mother pulled up outside the Tesco Express in a burgundy Nissan Juke and was seen on CCTV to shout and point at Mr Allan before driving off, the court heard. The mum then met Matthews, who was driving a blue transit van at a junction with Aldfield Road.

Both Matthews and Stott had earlier been in B&M buying paint around 15 minutes before the attack. Prosecutors said there is evidence that Matthews and the mum knew each other.

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The passenger window on the van was seen being wound down whilst she got out of her Nissan Juke and immediately confronted Mr Allan after he left the store, who the prosecution say could be seen backing away from her and trying to walk between the two vehicles. According to his police interview, Matthews said that the mother told him that Mr Allan had ‘hit’ her son, it was said.

Mr Allan tried to walk away round the back of the Transit van but the van appeared to deliberately reverse into him, pushing him backwards, the jury were told. Matthews followed him, alongside the mother and the boys, as Mr Allan tried to make his way home, resulting in a fight between Mr Allan and Matthews where ‘punches were exchanged’. As Mr Allan continued to walk away, witnesses saw the same Transit van pull alongside him again, the court heard.

Matthews then got out and ran towards Mr Allan holding a piece of metal that was described as looking ‘like an Olympic Torch’. Mr Johnson QC continued: “Mr Allan continued his way towards home, turning right onto Wythenshawe Road.

Man murdered on way home from Tesco with 'Olympic torch' weapon after knocking boy off bike, jury toldPolice at the scene on Wythenshawe Road after Mr Allan’s death

“Meanwhile, the Transit Van drove to Bolam Close, Matthews’ home address. “In police interviews, Matthews accepted that he went back home, saw Stott and they returned to the scene.

“The van can be seen travelling at urgent and reckless speed as it makes its way back towards and then down Wythenshawe Road. “The van pulled up on Wythenshawe Road just beyond the junction with Moorfield Rd where there is a tram stop, on the opposite carriageway to its direction of travel.”

Witness saw defendant ‘deliver heavy blows with weapon’

Moments later, a witness who lived opposite the scene described seeing Mr Allan already lying on his back, the court heard. Prosecutors said there must have been ‘significant violence’ before this point to put him in that position.

“She saw, to the right of him, standing by his waist, was Matthews. He was crouching over Mr Allan,” Mr Johnson told the jury. “He had what she thought was a silver dumbbell, as it was thicker at one end, in his right hand.

Man murdered on way home from Tesco with 'Olympic torch' weapon after knocking boy off bike, jury toldMr Allan was taken to hospital but sadly died the following day

“She saw Matthews deliver five or six heavy, forceful blows with that weapon straight down in the area of Mr Allan’s upper body.

“On the other side of Mr Allan she saw Stott. He was nearer to the feet end at this point and was repeatedly kicking the victim about eight times. “Matthews then ran back to the van first, followed a number of seconds later by Stott.

“The van then left, colliding with a black Ford Fiesta as it re-joined the correct carriageway. “The witness saw Stott banging the passenger door as if to hurry the van along. “They both left Mr Allan in a totally helpless and unresponsive state, on his back with his legs and arms splayed.”

The court heard that the defendants switched cars into a white Tipper truck, then into a white Golf. Stott then went to his partner’s mother’s house, cut off his dreadlocks and stayed the night.

Traumatic injuries

In a post mortem report, a pathologist found Mr Allan had 18 separate areas of bruising to his head, as well as five areas of bruising to his arms and internal bruising within the scalp, forehead, face, chin and jaw. A pathologist concluded that traumatic tears to the artery at the base of the brain could be caused by an impact that caused rotation of the skull upon the pivot of the upper end of the spine, the court heard.

The following day on June 5, Stott handed himself in to the police, initially denying involvement but then admitting in his police interview he was ‘foolishly sticking up for Matthews’. He also claimed he had tried to stop the attack by holding Matthews back, the court heard. Mr Johnson said Matthews handed himself in on June 6 and upon being charged, said “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it, condolences to the family, I am not a murderer.”

In a further interview, Matthews admitted he had a part in the murder but said he didn’t mean to kill him, the court was told.

He has since pleaded guilty to manslaughter, admitting to using ‘at least some’ unlawful violence in bringing about Mr Allen’s death, but with the intent to cause just some harm rather than really serious harm, the court was told.

Proceeding.