JURORS in a Kidlington mugging trial were cautioned against leaping to conclusions about the identification of the robbery gang’s alleged ringleader.

Long-haired Leon Dine, 19, was named by alleged victim Jordan Wyatt as the man leading a gang of youths who robbed him of his £750 puffa jacket in an alleyway off Oxford Road, Kidlington, in September 2020.

Mr Wyatt said lightly-haired Dine had his long hair down, comparing him to Tarzan and saying he threatened to ‘shank’ him before producing a knife. The alleged victim’s nose was broken in the incident.

READ MORE: Prosecution opens case in 'Tarzan' mugging trial

The teenager denies allegations of robbery and possession of a bladed article, telling jurors he was not in the alleyway – and it was ‘just another day’.

Addressing the issue of mistaken identity as she closed her client’s case to the jury on Wednesday afternoon, Kellie Enever said: “Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve walked down the street and thought ‘oh, that’s such and such’ and you walked up to them and you think ‘oh, I’m not going to say hello, that’s not such and such’?

“People make mistakes. To say people do not make mistakes would be totally and utterly ridiculous.”

In his closing speech, prosecutor Edward Culver scoffed at the suggestion Dine was anywhere other than the alleyway. “Perhaps he was out with his Tarzan hair. Perhaps he was at the hairdresser,” he said.

Oxford Mail: The robbery took place in an alleyway off Oxford Road, Kidlington (file image of Oxford Road pictured) Picture: ED NIXThe robbery took place in an alleyway off Oxford Road, Kidlington (file image of Oxford Road pictured) Picture: ED NIX


On Wednesday morning, the jury heard that then 17-year-old Dine was arrested on September 27 - two days after the alleyway mugging - at the home of a co-defendant, Sean Gallagher. Arrested at 11.08am, he made no reply to the caution.

A search of Gallagher’s home in Cherwell Avenue, Kidlington, revealed a Moncler jacket, although not the one stolen in the robbery, and a machete beneath the mattress. Gallagher has since admitted robbery and using a bank card stolen in the incident.

When police searched Dine’s home, they found a knife on top of his bedside table and another knife in the bedside drawer. Neither knife was tested for the alleged victim’s DNA, nor were swabs taken from Dine in custody to be analysed for the man’s DNA.

Phones seized from Dine and co-defendants were checked by the police and nothing was found relating to the robbery. No ‘cell site’ information was available, which would have shown which mobile phone masts the devices had ‘pinged’ off at the time of the incident.

The defendant’s DNA was found on a face mask discovered at the scene of the robbery. Also on the mask was the DNA of a co-defendant, Daniel Brain.

Dine, of Yarnton Road, Kidlington, denies robbery and possession of a knife. The trial continues.

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This story was written by Tom Seaward. He joined the team in 2021 as Oxfordshire's court and crime reporter.  

To get in touch with him email: Tom.Seaward@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @t_seaward