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Luke Harwood Death: Emma Hall Accused Of Leading Vigilante Gang That Killed 18-Year-Old 'Rapist'

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A woman led a vigilante gang who tortured and brutally killed a teenager who had been accused of rape, the Old Bailey heard.

Emma Hall helped three men kill Luke Harwood, 18, after an 18-year-old girl claimed he had attacked her two years before, the court was told.

She had made a complaint to police but the matter was dropped when she withdrew the allegation, jurors heard.

luke harwood

Harwood was found with head injuries near Broadmead Fields

The girl pointed Mr Harwood out at a chance meeting at a house in Romford, Essex, in May last year.

She and Hall were with the men who began beating him up in a room, said Simon Denison, QC, prosecuting.

He said: "She told the others that he was the person she had told (Hall) about at the time who had raped her.

"The men, over a prolonged period of time, severely beat him up by punching and kicking him to the head, so he was bleeding heavily from his injuries and his face was terribly swollen."

Hall had then allegedly driven two of the men and Mr Harwood to a lane in Woodford Green, east London, where he was taken to the bank of a stream where he was "finished off".

Mr Denison said: "They killed him by punching and kicking him and stamping on his head many, many times. The bones in his face were crushed."

He said the gang then bought petrol and set fire to their bloody clothing, before cleaning up bloodstains at the house.

The following evening, Hall had driven two of the attackers and two other men to the spot where the body had been covered with a mattress and other rubbish, the court heard.

Mr Denison said: "They had with them knives and a pair of bolt cutters that they were intending to use to mutilate his body to make it more difficult for him to be identified by cutting off his fingers and removing his teeth."

But Hall had secretly tipped off police who were waiting for them when they arrived.

Mr Denison told the jury: "His murder was quite extraordinarily callous, violent and brutal."

Two years earlier, the teenage girl had claimed she was raped "but when what she was saying was examined more closely by police, it was clear that she was not in fact saying that he had raped her", added Mr Denison.

Emma Hall, 21, James Danby, 27, Tony O'Toole, 29, and Jovan Roberts, 28, deny murder and causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

Hall, Danby, O'Toole, Billy Duggan, 21, and Khalid Hassan, 20, deny conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

All the defendants were from Romford.

The trial was adjourned to Wednesday.

Comments have been closed for legal reasons.

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