Five men accused of murdering Mark Noke in a robbery gone wrong were "desperate for money" and "prepared to use violence," a jury has been told. 

Prosecutor Adam Vaitilingam KC claimed that all five men on trial for the alleged murder planned to use "whatever violence was needed" when they went to Warburton Road in Thornhill to steal cash and drugs. 

Keiran Claffey, 29, of Keynsham Road, Southampton; Aaron Morgan, 32, of Bursledon Road, Southampton; Bradley O'Dell, 22, of West Park Road, Southampton; Justin Roach, 40, of Chapel Road, Southampton and Leighton Tabone, 24, of no fixed abode all deny murder and manslaughter.

Morgan, O'Dell, Roach and Tabone also deny conspiracy to rob. 

Delivering his closing speech to the jury, Mr Vaitilingam said there "can be no doubt that all five of these men went to Warburton Road and they went there to commit a robbery".

Daily Echo: Mark Noke.Mark Noke. (Image: Hampshire Police)

He said: "These men were not simply going to walk away if the people at Warburton Road decided they were not going to hand over their valuables. 

"Their victims would be made to hand over their goods by use of whatever violence was needed. 

"One of them stabbed Mr Noke and one of them, he told 999 call operator, put the gun to his head.

"They're each guilty of murder because they each participated in this crime

"We don't suggest that they went there to kill anyone. That wasn't their aim. 

"But they were all desperate for money, mainly to buy drugs."


Claffey has admitted conspiracy to rob, which the prosecution claimed "fits with the evidence" as "they expected this to be a violent robbery rather than a burglary of an empty house".

Giving evidence, Morgan and O'Dell both claimed that Keiran Claffey had stabbed 64-year-old Mr Noke in the early hours of February 25 last year.

Leighton Tabone, who the prosecution said was the "leader of the gang," has not attended the trial since it started in January. 

Mr Vaitilingam said he had made a "calculation" that it "looks better for him" not to attend.

He added: "The image of Mark Noke never knowing why he had been attacked is a haunting one.

"Whoever you decide actually stabbed him, each of these defendants carries responsibility for his murder."

But in his closing speech Brian St Louis KC, for Claffey, told the jury his client had admitted to the robbery as he "doesn't want to pull the wool over your eyes".

"Keiran Claffey freely admits and admitted to you that they all needed money."

Daily Echo: Winchester Crown Court.Winchester Crown Court.

He added that the promise of a £30,000 reward would have "meant the world" to Morgan, adding that O'Dell was brought along for his "muscle". 

Mr St Louis said Morgan and O'Dell had accused his client of delivering the fatal blow after months of sharing their cell together.

The barrister previously said O'Dell had a grudge because Claffey was sleeping with his partner.

He said: "Bradley O'Dell not only has an axe to grind, but more importantly of all the people in the dock, Mr Claffey is the only one who is on the outside.

"All the others are friends. Is it easy to put the knife in the hands of a friend who you knew had the knife or is it easier to put the knife in the hands of the one you don't like?"

He added: "This case, if there ever was one, is a complete and utter tragedy.

"We all know that no one should have their life cut short needlessly.

"But on anyone's view, Mr Noke - an innocent man - was killed as a result of a robbery that went wrong."

The trial continues.