A GANG of children and young adults carried out a brutal attack on a vulnerable and helpless disabled man in a dark alleyway, a court has heard.
Martell Brown (24), of Colliery Road, Conisbrough; Shae Nicholson (20), of Lincoln Close, Denaby Main; Kian Gerrard (19), of Lincoln Close, Denaby Main, and a 15-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, are on trial at Sheffield Crown Court accused of murdering Jerry Appicella (51) in an alleyway near the Go Local shop on Hickleton Street, Denaby Main, on December 3, 2019.
Mr John Harrison, prosecuting, told a jury today (Wednesday): "These four youths, acting together, pursued and attacked a man by the name of Jerry Appicella as he walked down a dark alleyway in Denaby Main.
"They beat him, kicked him, stamped on him and struck him with a weapon.
"He was knocked to the floor and the attack continued.
"When they were finally finished with their victim, Mr Appicella was helped by a lady who witnessed part of the attack."
Mr Appicella died at his home shortly afterwards from head injuries he suffered during the attack.
"His body wasn't discovered until December 15, some 12 days later," said Mr Nicholson.
"Why did these young men attack and kill him?
"Perhaps because he was gay, or a 'faggot', or 'nonce', as they referred to him, or perhaps because he called Nicholson a 'pussy'?"
Mr Harrison said it could have been because Mr Appicella was a chronic alcoholic and was disabled.
"Perhaps because he was lonely and frequented a nearby shop for social interaction?" said Mr Nicholson.
A series of CCTV clips were played to the jury which showed the four defendants in Go Local at about 2.30pm on the day of the attack.
Nicholson had been aggressive, loud, threatening and brash, Mr Harrison said.
More footage was played which showed the 15-year-old later walking towards Go Local carrying a yellow pole and hitting a fence with it.
Footage which will be played to the jury tomorrow will show a brutal attack by children and young adults on a vulnerable and helpless man, Mr Harrison said.
A post-mortem examination showed Mr Appicella died as a result of head trauma.
It revealed he had suffered a bleed to the brain as a result of his injuries, Mr Harrison said.
"He had extensive bruising to the head and face, consistent with stamps, kicks and punches," he said.
"In short, he had clearly been punched and kicked to death."
Mr Harrison said it had been clear from the post-mortem examination that Mr Appicella had died some considerable time before his body was found.
Mr Appicella's phone had last been used at 10.33pm on the day he had tried to call 999 but failed to connect.
Prior to that, he had spoken to his mother on the phone every day.
All of the defendants accept they were present but deny causing the serious injuries that Mr Appicella suffered.
Nicholson has admitted manslaughter but denies murder.
The other three defendants deny murder.
The trial continues.