Jurors have heard how a youth accused of murdering a 19-year-old by driving a van into him was found by police 'hiding' in a cupboard in Wales.

Ryan Willicombe, 19, of Newbury, has been charged with murder over the death of Tilehurst resident Sheldon Lewcock.

Mr Lewcock was run down in Pierces Hill in Reading while riding a motorcycle with several other youths.

The incident occurred on August 4, 2022, and the victim died at Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford five days later.

The prosecution in the case allege that Willicombe had intended to hit Kayden Williams, who was riding a bike with Mr Lewcock at the time.

The court heard that Willicombe had accused several men - including Mr Williams - of trying to coerce him into the drug trade prior to the incident.

Opening the case today (April 16), prosecuting barrister Philip Evans KC told jurors: "It is not in dispute that there was no love lost between those two individuals."

When making the allegations to police in July 2022, Willicombe told officers that he had once driven his father's van at Mr Williams in an effort to "scare" him.

Mr Evans KC said: "Therefore, roughly two weeks before the matters which are the subject of this indictment, Ryan Willicombe told the police that he had driven a vehicle at Kayden Williams in an attempt to scare him.

"On that occasion, he had used a vehicle as a weapon."

After hitting Mr Lewcock with the van, Willicombe did not stop, but rather drove to a nearby Co-op, and then on to his grandfather's home in south Wales.

Text communications from this time have been produced at trial.

In one message, a friend asked Willicombe: "You heard anything about him?"

In response, the defendant said: "Hopefully he dies."

The friend warned Willicombe that, if the person alluded to died, he could be imprisoned - to which he replied: "True. Hopefully he paralysed."

Police scrambled to arrest the defendant in Wales, where they found him hiding in a cupboard.

He was subsequently charged with murder.

At the conclusion of his opening remarks, Mr Evans KC briefly outlined the law in the case.

He said that any question of whether the defendant specifically intended to kill or "scare" the victim was irrelevant.

Rather, jurors only have to be sure that Willicombe wanted to cause one or any of the motorcyclists serious harm to convict him of murder.

He asked them: "Are you sure that he [Willicombe] intended harm to any of the group riding on those bikes? And, in relation to the allegation of murder, are you sure that he intended to cause at least really serious bodily harm?

"To be guilty of the offence of murder, you do not need to intend to kill somebody, but you do need to intend to cause them at least really serious harm."

The trial continues.