By Caroline Gall
BBC News, West Midlands
A footballer was killed in a nightclub as a “planned act of retribution” after a minor altercation in a late night bar on Christmas Eve, a court heard.
Ex-Stratford Town player Cody Fisher, 23, was fatally stabbed at the Crane club in Birmingham on Boxing Day 2022.
Two days earlier, a “coming together” of Mr Fisher and defendant Remy Gordon in a busy bar was the catalyst for the attack, jurors heard.
Mr Gordon and two other men all deny murder at Birmingham Crown Court.
The 22-year-old of Cofton Park Drive, Birmingham, and Kami Carpenter, 21, and 18-year-old Reegan Anderson, both of no fixed address also all deny affray.
Mr Fisher, of Redditch, had played for a number of non-league Midlands clubs, most recently for Southern League Premier Division Central club Stratford Town.
Opening the case for the prosecution, Michael Duck KC told jurors that the three men were part of a joint attack in which they “knew of knives and were encouraging and assisting others”.
It led to Mr Fisher being stabbed in the chest, with the blade penetrating the main valve of his heart, leaving him fatally wounded, Mr Duck said.
He was “rendered helpless”, with his girlfriend and others trying to help him as medical help was sought and administered.
Despite being given medical aid, Mr Fisher died on the dancefloor, the jury heard.
But “not satisfied with the murderous attack”, the group pursued Mr Fisher’s friend and also “perpetrated a very significant act of violence” on him by knocking him to the floor and kicking him repeatedly, Mr Duck said.
Jurors were told the men had taken such “awful revenge” after a minor altercation two days earlier, on Christmas Eve.
Mr Gordon was with a friend in Popworld in Solihull, when he encountered Mr Fisher, who was also there with a friend, Mr Duck said.
The defendant and Mr Fisher had come into contact in the “packed” bar, angering Mr Gordon, the court was told.
Mr Gordon had decided to challenge Mr Fisher about it, using it as an excuse to threaten him with violence and to take it outside, the court heard.
But they remained inside the venue before Mr Fisher, “who had done nothing wrong” and showed “no hint of violence”, made his way out of the bar with his friend, Mr Duck said.
Referring to Mr Gordon, the prosecutor said: “The strength of his resentment can be gleaned from messages sent within about 50 minutes of the encounter in Popworld.”
‘Get my shank in’
The jury heard Mr Gordon allegedly sent messages on Snapchat to friends around 45 minutes after the initial encounter, appealing for help to identify a photograph showing Mr Fisher and threatening to “shank him up”.
“The prosecution say within three-quarters of an hour of that minor incident taking place in Popworld, you see the way Remy Gordon felt about it and what he intended to do about it,” Mr Duck said.
He was “set on retribution”, which would come two days later, jurors heard.
In the hours before going to Crane, jurors were told of Snapchat messages between Mr Gordon and Mr Carpenter where they talked about whether masks can be worn and if weapons can be taken in.
Mr Carpenter asked Mr Gordon if he can “get my shank in”, which the prosecution said was reference to a knife.
Mr Gordon said he was “looking to snuff someone”, which Mr Duck said demonstrated his “sinister intention” that evening.
The conversations showed Mr Gordon was intending to go to the club in disguise, had discussed which weapons to take and that they should inflict very serious harm or could kill an individual, he said.
“He intended to revisit events on Christmas Eve and Cody Fisher’s fate was determined by how he reacted to Mr Gordon’s approach,” he said.
Mr Gordon was searched at the door of Crane by security but his man bag was not, the court heard.
Once inside, he messaged Mr Carpenter to say “not even a metal detector”.
It was difficult to provide another explanation for that conversation, Mr Duck said.
“It was not a matter of chance [Mr Fisher] was attacked in the nightclub, it was not a flash of temper, it was a planned act of retribution,” he added.
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