Man hacked to death in front of pregnant fiancée ‘in revenge attack after being tracked on Facebook’
An expectant father was brutally hacked to death in a carefully-planned revenge attack after his movements were tracked using Facebook, a court has heard.
Danny Gough, 24, was butchered with an axe and a machete by three masked men in front of his pregnant fiancée as part of an alleged ongoing vicious feud.
He had recently enjoyed a weekend trip to Brighton but announced his return home to Croydon on his Facebook account, the Old Bailey heard.
One of the alleged killers, Sam Monteith, 32, accessed the page using his laptop just hours before Mr Gough was murdered in front of his girlfriend, Kareena Modashia.
It is claimed Stephen Dougherty, 35, and Paul West, 29, were the other two attackers.
Prosecutor Mark Heywood QC, making his closing speech to the jury, admitted that there was no forensic evidence linking any of the three to the scene but highlighted other factors pointing to the involvement of all three men.
He said: ‘The venture was carefully planned, the participants had acquired detailed knowledge not only as to the location but also as to the interior of the address and where people might be.
‘They knew that Danny Gough, their target, was present and where he was.
‘It leads to the conclusion that they took steps to avoid identification. Whoever did it made damn sure there was no evidence.
‘There is no identifiable DNA, no fingerprint, no distinctive footmark, no facial recognition, because they were covered and no weapon discarded.
‘Above all there was one very obvious conclusion. This was a revenge attack of a particular kind, intended to be a statement.
‘If you are able to work out those who have motives for revenge and who had motivations for a revenge of this particular kind, you are much further down the track.
‘All of these factors become relevant when considering who the killers are.’
Monteith, Dougherty and West were captured on CCTV meeting together ten days before the murder.
The following day the movement of their phones was ‘consistent with surveillance’ of the victim, it is claimed.
On the day before the attack Mr Gough updated his Facebook status with the message: ‘Had a great weekend, coming home.’
It is claimed the murder was part of an ongoing feud between Mr Gough’s friend Leanne Meredith and Monteith.
Dougherty claims it began when Ms Meredith’s sister mocked Monteith’s ‘wacky’ trousers in a pub in June 2010.
On November 3 Monteith was slashed and sprayed at his home by three men, including Mr Gough, it is said.
West, of Eaton Avenue, Slough, Berks, and Dougherty, of no fixed address but formerly of Mijas, Spain, both deny murder.
Monteith, of Brighton Road, Sutton, is not before the court as he is currently unfit to stand trial.
The trial continues.