Fri, 27 Apr 2012
Three men who were run over and killed during last summer's riots were murdered by eight men in a "concerted plan" involving a trio of cars, each with a role to perform, a court heard on Friday.
Haroon Jahan, 20, Shazad Ali, 30, and his brother Abdul Musavir, 31, were struck by a black Mazda car during disorder in the Winson Green district of Birmingham in the early hours of 10 August last year. They had been trying to protect shops and houses from looters during the unrest.
On the first day of the trial, on Thursday, Mr Justice Flaux had to clear the public gallery as a heated argument broke out after CCTV footage of the incident was played to the jury, amid sobbing and loud gasps.
Prosecuting barrister Tim Spencer QC told the jurors at Birmingham crown court that the deaths were not down to chance but the result of a plan hatched involving the Mazda, a Ford Fiesta and an Audi. He had previously described it as the equivalent of "a chariot charge".
CCTV footage of the fatal impact has been shown to the jury, clearly showing the three victims being flung into the air after they were struck by the car on Dudley Road. The images show the Audi braking and swerving as it travels along the road, while the two other vehicles hold back.
Moments later an arm extends from the driver's side of the Mazda, which then starts to move along the road, with the Fiesta at its side. A crowd gathering on the pavement can be seen walking into the road following the Audi, and later the Fiesta.
Spencer said the Audi was clearly trying to draw the attention of the crowd and to draw the crowd to it and out of the mouth of the road. "Because of the actions of the Audi and the Fiesta, the attention of the crowd – or many of them – was on those two vehicles," he said.
"Had they not done what they did, those in the crowd – particularly those in the road – would have been more aware of the third oncoming car, the Mazda. More aware of the danger it presented and better able to get out of the way."
The prosecution alleges the three cars were driving together in a concerted plan. "They were all in it together. Each had a role to perform," he added.
Ryan Goodwin, 21, Shaun Flynn, 26, Juan Ruiz-Gaviria, 31, Joshua Donald, 27, Everton Graham, 30, Adam King, 24, Ian Beckford, 30, and Aaron Parkins, 18, all from the Birmingham area, each deny three counts of murder.
Spencer told the court that the Audi was driven by King. Goodwin, Flynn and Ruiz-Gaviria were passengers in the car. The prosecution says the Fiesta was driven by Donald with Parkins a passenger, and the Mazda driven by Beckford, with Graham in the front passenger seat.
Click to view the profile for Michael Duck QC - Defending