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Nelson Smith Jnr convicted of murdering man and killing an 18-year-old at West Meadows travellers' site in Ipswich

PUBLISHED: 15:20 28 June 2017 | UPDATED: 17:09 28 June 2017

Nelson Smith (inset), of West Meadows, has been convicted of murdering Barry Street and the manslaughter of Nathan Oakley following a three-week trial. Picture: ARCHANT

Nelson Smith (inset), of West Meadows, has been convicted of murdering Barry Street and the manslaughter of Nathan Oakley following a three-week trial. Picture: ARCHANT

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An 18-year-old has been convicted of the murder of Barry Street and the manslaughter of Nathan Oakley in a feud over a caravan pitch at an Ipswich traveller's site.

Police at the gate of the West Meadows travellers' site. Picture: ARCHANTPolice at the gate of the West Meadows travellers' site. Picture: ARCHANT

A teenager who stabbed two fellow travellers to death during a feud about a caravan pitch at an Ipswich traveller’s site has been convicted of murder and manslaughter.

Nelson Smith Jnr, 18, killed Nathan Oakley, 18, and Barry Street, 32, with a carving knife during a brawl at West Meadows in Ipswich.

Smith claimed he grabbed the blade and stabbed the two men repeatedly from behind to stop them viciously beating his father Nelson Smith Senior on 8 December 2016.

The teenager fled through some fields after the attack and dumped the knife and his bloodied shirt in some woodlands behind the travellers’ site.

Nelson Smith, who has been convicted of murder and manslaughter.  Picture: SUFFOLK POLICENelson Smith, who has been convicted of murder and manslaughter. Picture: SUFFOLK POLICE

Oakley was rushed to hospital by relatives in a car while Street was taken to hospital by ambulance after collapsing near the exit of the site with stab wounds to his neck and back.

Both men were pronounced dead within an hour.

Street, who was jailed for 14 years in 2006 for armed robbery, posted a picture of himself meeting former heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury two weeks before his death.

Today Smith closed his eyes and hung his head as he was found guilty of murdering Street by a majority of 10-2.

Floral tributes left at the entrance to West Meadows Travellers' Site in the wake of the deaths of Nathan Oakley and Barry Street. Picture: ARCHANTFloral tributes left at the entrance to West Meadows Travellers' Site in the wake of the deaths of Nathan Oakley and Barry Street. Picture: ARCHANT

The teenager was cleared of murdering Oakley due to lack of intent, but jurors convicted him of an alternative count of manslaughter by a majority of 11-1.

Smith Jnr was also cleared of having an article with a blade or point.

Mr Justice Spencer said: “Mr Smith, you understand what has happened, Friday is when I will sentence you and you will have all the time you need to speak to your legal team this afternoon and on Friday morning.”

Smith Jnr told jurors he was making tea in his grandmother’s trailer when he heard Street, a convicted armed robber, threaten to shoot his father during a dispute over a pitch.

Murder victim Barry Street after he was jailed in 2004. Picture Suffolk PoliceMurder victim Barry Street after he was jailed in 2004. Picture Suffolk Police

The teenager said he stabbed him and Oakley repeatedly from behind and left them for dead after they began to attack Mr Smith Snr with a metal pole, an axe, and a catapult.

“To be quite honest I did get hit in the back of the head, so that’s when I drew the knife from the back of my pocket,” he added.

“Being quite close to my dad, obviously I wanted to stop any further damage being caused to him so I grabbed the first person I could see and lunged forward.

“That turned out to be Nathan, unfortunately.”

A heavy police presence at the gate of the West Meadows travellers' site after the alleged murders. Picture: CONTRIBA heavy police presence at the gate of the West Meadows travellers' site after the alleged murders. Picture: CONTRIB

He told the court he had ‘never been more sorry’ after killing Nathan, who he considered a close friend.

But he insisted he thought the mens’ wounds were ‘liveable’ and said: “When I was 13 I had been stabbed and I lived on.”

Police detained Smith Jnr shortly after the killings in the vicinity of Paper Mill Lane, Bramford at around 1.35pm on the day of the incident.

He had been seen running across fields by a police community support officer who was looking out of the window at the police base in Landmark House.

Three days after the killings Nathan’s brother Ernest led a ‘sickening’ revenge attack on the site as he sought vengeance on the Smith family.

A police helicopter and several vans were dispatched as Ernest and five other men bludgeoned a horse to death with planks of wood and burned caravans to the ground.

Ernest Oakley was jailed for three years for violent disorder and criminal damage after the attack, while four other men were jailed for a total of 12 years.

Prosecutor Karim Khalil QC said: “Arguments developed on the West Meadows traveller site between a number of travellers who lived on or close to the site where the defendant was also living.

“At about 1pm that day the oral arguments turned to physical violence.

“The defendant was aged 17 at the time.

“He picked up a distinctive red-bladed knife from a set of kitchen knives in a caravan - the caravan at pitch number 35 where his grandparents were living.

“He then emerged onto the traveller’s site and stabbed two men to death.”

Smith Jnr had denied two counts of murder.

He was remanded in custody until Friday

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