A 16-year-old boy charged with the murder of an Ipswich teenager had left a gang believed to be behind the killing, a court heard.
Tavis Spencer Aitkens, 17, died after being stabbed 15 times and hit over the head with a bottle on 2 June.
The boy, who cannot be named, said he had “distanced” himself from the J-Block group and was pursuing music to leave the “gang, violence, drug” world.
At Ipswich Crown Court, the boy and five men deny murder.
He said he was “not specifically” involved in activities with J Block, the group named after the Jubilee Park area of Ipswich, at the time of Tavis’s death.
The prosecution says Tavis was killed in revenge for trouble that flared between J-Block and a gang from the IP3 postcode area of Ipswich.
‘Gang, violence, drug’
Responding to questions from David Bentley QC, the boy said he was more focused on music than the “criminal activities” of J-Block.
“The purpose of that was to try to do something legit,” he said. “To try to make something of ourselves.”
Mr Bentley asked: “In what world was that?”
The boy replied: “In the real world. Not the gang, violence, drug world.”
The boy denied that he and another defendant, Aristote Yenge, had been “humiliated” hours before Tavis’s death after an altercation outside cosmetics shop Lush in Ipswich.
He said he had been out the night before and danced with a woman, whose boyfriend confronted him the following day.
However, Mr Yenge and the boy took refuge in the shop to avoid the dispute escalating because Mr Yenge was carrying cannabis and they had seen a plain-clothes police officer nearby, the court heard.
Adebayo Amusa, 20, of Barking, east London; Callum Plaats, 23, of Ipswich; Leon Glasgow, 42, of no fixed address; Isaac Calver, 19, of Ipswich; Mr Yenge, 23, of no fixed abode, and the boy all deny murder.
The trial continues.