Teenager weeps as she tells court of savage beating of Luke Harwood whose body was found on the Orchard Estate in Woodford Green

First published in Redbridge
Last updated

A teenager, who falsely accused a man of raping her, wept as she told a court of the savage beating that led to his death.

The battered body of Luke Harwood, 18, was found near the Orchard Estate in Woodford Green in May last year.

He was attacked by a woman and three of her friends, before being taken to the estate and murdered on the banks of the River Roding, the Old Bailey heard.

The teenager had falsely accused Mr Harwood of rape in 2010, and recognised him when he moved into her shared council house two years later.

However she then gave police a witness statement in which she made it clear she had not been raped.

Shaking in the witness box, the girl, who is not on trial, confirmed the woman said she was going to ‘****ing kill him’, after being told of the rape claim.

The woman along with Tony O’Toole, 29, and Jovan Roberts, 28, of Crow Lane in Romford, and James Danby, 27, of no fixed address, are alleged to have attacked Mr Harwood at a house on May 27.

Asked by James Danby’s barrister if his client was controlling the attack, the teenager replied: “Kind of.”

She said Danby dragged the battered frame of Mr Harwood in front of her, and demanded: ‘Are you sure this is him?’

She told the court: “I said I was definite it was him.”

Sobbing as she recalled the assault, she told the court: “It was awful. His nose was bent and there was blood everywhere.”

Earlier the trial heard that the four were arrested after returning to the scene with the aim of removing their victim’s fingers and teeth to prevent his identification.

All four deny murder and wounding with intent.

The trial continues.

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