Man denies attempting to murder man in The Downs (but co-accused pleads guilty to wounding).

Crime / Fri 1st Sep 2017 at 04:57pm


A HARLOW man has detailed his movements on the day he is alleged to have attempted to murder a man in The Downs.

Osa Akapta, aged 21, was charged with attacking Robert Sommerville on Thursday January 26th, 2017.

Akapta described how he and Charlie Knight took the train from Bishops Stortford (where he lived) to Harlow Town.

They walked to the Greyhound Pub in the town park, where they met a friend called Tanishia Burkson.

From there she drove them to her house in The Gardiners in Church Langley area of the town.

After an hour the two males walked to the Co-Op at Manor Hatch on Tumbler Road.

The court had earlier heard that CCTV had identified them at the shops.

The two then walked down Nicholls Field. Akapta then told the court that he informed Knight that he had to go and see his grandparents in Abbotsweld.

They split up. He went there, let himself in with a key but no-one was home. He tidied up, had something to eat. He rang his grandparents but they told him they would not be back until 6pm.

He then received a call from Knight who informed him that he had been involved in trouble. They agreed to meet up at the back of Nicholls Tower.

When they met, Knight explained to him that he had gone to The Downs area to buy some cannabis and there had been an altercation between men called Paul Stallman, Abdul and Robert Summerville.

Knight further detailed to Akpata that he pulled out hammer and Abdul possessed a screwdriver. Throughout the testimony, Akpata did not give a surname to Abdul but at the end he called him Abdul Qufer

Akpata arranged for Knight to stay at Tanishia Burkson’s place in Church Langley.

Defence counsel asked Akpata if he had made attempts, in the eight months he had been in custody to trace Ms Burkson but he stated that he could not get hold of her.

The court heard that the police had not traced Tanishia Burkson. They were also informed that Akpata’s grandparents were not called due to the accused’s concerns for his grandfather’s health.


Before he took to the witness box, the jury were presented with a “Statement of Facts”.

The court heard a statement from the man who was attacked, Robert Sommerville.

Mr Sommerville did not attend court to give evidence and so his statement was read out.

He described how on Thursday January 27th, he had walked from Wetherspoons in Harlow Town Centre to The Downs area.

He saw two males at a phone box, a comment was made and he was the aware of being struck from behind. He recalled that the next thing he remembers was waking up in the hospital.

The court heard that Mr Sommerville suffered a number of injuries including a laceration to the nose, a punctured lung and a number of breakages.


The court the heard from Detective Constable Canning who gave details to the court of the arrest and subsequent interview under caution of Akpata.

He also detailed the search of Akpata’s flat at the YMCA in Bishops Stortford. During the search, six mobile phones were found plus four knives.

DC Canning revealed that during the interview, Akpata was asked a number of questions but remained silent throughout.


On the first full day of the trial, the co-accused, Charlie Knight pled guilty to wounding with intent and possession of an offensive weapon.

Charlie Knight, 19, of Broadgate in Sutton St, Edmund, Spalding will be sentenced at a further date.


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