Murder victim "attacked after turning other cheek to abuse"

A WITNESS has told how pensioner Mushin Ahmed turned the other cheek to racist abuse, before seeing him punched and kicked by his alleged killer.

Shane Rice told Sheffield Crown Court this morning that Dale Jones (30), of East Bawtry Road, spotted 81-year-old Mr Ahmed going to early morning prayers and asked him if he was “out grooming”.

The dad of four from East Dene ignored Jones and carried on walking, said Mr Rice, before Jones and co-defendant Damien Hunt (30) jogged after him to an alley and Jones attacked him.

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In his opening statement yesterday, prosecutor Mr Andrew Robertson told the court Jones had accused Mr Ahmed of being a "groomer", his word for a paedophile, for no other reason than that the OAP was dark-skinned.

Mr Rice said he and his brother Kieran Rice had followed at walking pace.

“I followed them down to the alley because I knew something was going to happen, the mood Dale was in,” said Mr Rice.

“Mr Ahmed stopped first. He turned around and said to Dale: ‘What do you want?’

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“Then Dale hit him. He fell to the ground. The punch was to his head.

“As he lay on the ground Dale was over the top of him. I remember him kicking him in the side of the head. Then I ran off. Kieran ran off with me.”

Mr Rice said he and his brother then went to his nan's house nearby.

Jones then called and asked them to come and meet him at his house, to which Kieran drove him, he said.

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By then Jones had changed his clothes and put them in the washing machine, Mr Rice said, with his trainers swapped for flip-flops.

Police later matched the shoes, Adidas PT70s, to tread marks left on Mr Ahmed’s face, the court has heard.

Mr Rice said Jones told him it was “in his best interests” if he kept quiet about what he had seen.

He said he later saw Jones in a Tesco car park, when Jones said he must “keep quiet” about what happened that night.

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Mr Rice also described another incident, minutes before the attack on Mr Ahmed, as he stood on Doncaster Road with Jones, Hunt and his brother Kieran.

Jones allegedly shouted racist abuse at an Asian taxi driver turning his car around nearby.

“Dale noticed the taxi and as it came to turn he started shouting abuse at the driver,” said Rice.

“He called him a P*** and told him to get out of his car. He tried opening the door but it was locked. That's when the taxi drove off.”

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Mr Rice said he had joined Jones and Hunt at Hunt’s house on Doncaster Road at around midnight on August 10 — three hours before the attack on Mr Ahmed.

Jones was angry about an earlier incident, he said, when he went to the home of Mark Senior and complained about his stepson sleeping on Senior’s sofa and not in a bed.

Mr Senior alleges that Jones had made threats to shoot him and burn down his house, which Jones denies.

Mr Rice said Jones was concerned the police might come for him, adding that he saw Jones swig sambuca from several bottles, take cocaine and take some pills.

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“He just got to a stage where he seemed to be going too far,” said Rice.

Shane Rice’s brother Kieran Rice was expected to give evidence today, but he did not turn up this morning.

Judge Mr Justice Stephen Males issued a witness summons, insisting that he attend tomorrow morning.

Jones and Hunt both deny murder. The trial continues.


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