“Happy Slapping” girl asked gay murder victim to “pose for the camera”, court told

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A teenage girl asked a gay barman to “pose for the camera” before she filmed her friends kicking him to death, a court heart.

The trial relates to the murder of David Morley, 37, a survivor of the 1999 Soho nail bomb attack, who was chatting with a friend, Alistair Whiteside, on the South Bank, when a gang pounced.

The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is alleged to have told David Morley that she was making a documentary about “happy slapping” before her gang of friends kicked him to death.

“Happy slapping”, a growing phenomenon in Britain, involves the recording of acts of violence on camera phones and distributing it amongst friends.

The court also heard that as Mr Morley lay on the ground unconscious, the girl “kicked his head as if it was a football”.

Darren Case, 18, one of six people indicted over the offence admitted that he and five others took part in at least 20 “happy slapping” crimes in the months leading up to the death of Mr Morley in October of last year.

Case denied that he attacked Mr Morley but admitted to attacking his friend. He also claimed that the teenage girl, who was 14 at the time, did not take part in the violence, but did film it on her camera phone.

Prosecutors claim that the gang later returned to a block of flats in Kennington, where they watched the video clips recorded by the teenage girl. The 17 year old told police “at the time I thought it was funny.”

Reece Sargeant, 21, Barry Lee, 20, and Darren Case, 18, two 17-year-old males and a 15-year-old girl deny murder, conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm with intent and conspiracy to rob.

The trial continues.