Judge to sum up in Mushin Ahmed murder trial

BARRISTERS have summed up the trial of Mushin Ahmed's alleged murderers this afternoon.

Prosecutors and defence counsel led a jury of five men and seven women through two weeks of evidence, before they retire to consider their verdicts.

Dale Jones (30), of East Bawtry Road and Damien Hunt (30), of Doncaster Road both deny attacking Mr Ahmed (81) in the early hours of August 10 last year.

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Mr Andrew Robertson, prosecuting, said there was “no innocent explanation” for a mark matching the tread on Jones' shoes being on Mr Ahmed's face.

He said this evidence alone “proves unequivocally” that Jones is guilty of murder.

He asked jurors to consider the “mood” of Jones last August 10, when he had been “drinking sambucca and snorting cocaine.”

Jones was arrested the same night for driving while unfit through drink or drugs.

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Witnesses said he was “in a rage” after a confrontation with the father of his stepson, after which he had threatened to go and “blast him,”, Mr Robertson reminded them.

The prosecutor also repeated Jones' admission to a probation officer: “P**** make me very angry,” because “all P**** are rapists.”

Referring to Mr Hunt, Mr Robertson said: “He told lie after lie. They didn't work, so he resorted to other lies.

“He took to the witness box and took the opportunity to lie again to try and overcome the evidence against him.

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“But in doing so he made it abundantly clear that he was not just a liar but an intrinsic part of Mr Ahmed's murder.”

He concluded: “In our submission there is no doubt that, right from the start, from when the first punch powerful enough to fell Mr Ahmed, there was an intention to cause really serious harm on the part of both men.”

Each man admits being present at the attack, but claims the other assaulted Mr Ahmed alone.

Hunt testified against Jones in court, but Jones turned down the chance to speak in his own defence.

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Mr Andrew O'Byrne, defending Jones, said: “There is no requirement that a defendant should give evidence. Any one of us charged with an offence is entitled not to.

“The burden of proof is always on the prosecution. They bring the charge and it is for them to prove it.”

He added: “As far as the trainers are concerned, I cannot help. The evidence is what the evidence is.

“But you may remember that the pattern on the shoe is not exclusive.”

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Mr O'Byrne also claimed there had been “collusion” between Hunt and two witnesses -brothers Shane and Kieran Rice - a “conspiracy to lie” and put all of the blame on Jones.

Mr Jason Pitter, defending Hunt, began his one-hour summary saying Rotherham had a “problem with race.”

He told the court: “It's a problem which should have been consigned to the scrapheap of intollerance and ignorance, but in reality that never happened.

“A problem which makes people think it's all right to use the word P*** not just as a term of abuse, but as part of their everyday speech.

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“It's a problem which led to the abhorrent death of a proud Muslim man, Mushin Ahmed.

“Dale Hunt is a product of that environment. He has never tried to separate himself from that wider thought process.”

He added that Hunt had repeatedly changed his story to police and in court because he was afraid that Jones would harm his family and that he would get a reputation as being a grass.

Mr Pitter said: “The prosecution case is so weak that you will find it difficult to be sure of the guilt of Damien Hunt.

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“Yes he lied, but he admitted it and said he was sorry for doing so.

“He was not involved in that vicious, sustained attack on Mr Ahmed.”

Both Jones and Hunt deny murder. 

Judge Mr Justice Stephen Males is due to begin summing up the case tomorrow (Tuesday).

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