Birmingham & Black Country

Barman 'found fatally stabbed shopkeeper' in Birmingham

A barman has described the "traumatic" night he found a shopkeeper with stab wounds following a robbery.

Suppiah Tharmaseelan, 48, died after he was repeatedly stabbed and badly beaten at his shop in Birmingham in November last year.

Adam Morgan carried out first aid on Mr Tharmaseelan and called 999.

Five men, including a pair of twins, have admitted robbery at the store, but deny murder. Two other men deny perverting the course of justice.

Stab wounds

The attack happened at the Select Convenience store in College Road.

Mr Tharmaseelan bled to death after a knife pierced his left lung, Birmingham Crown Court heard.

Twenty-seven-year-old twins John Meenan, of Camberley Grove, Erdington, and Ian Meenan, of Short Heath Road, Erdington, are charged with his murder along with Anthony Mark Bayliss, 25, and his brother Liam Ryan, 19, both of Gretton Road, Erdington, and 25-year-old James Moore, of Twickenham Road, Kingstanding.

Scott Henderson, 38, of Penns Lane, Sutton Coldfield, and David Doyle, 46, of Chingford Road, Kingstanding, are accused of attempting to cover up the alleged crime by trying to destroy CCTV footage from a pub.

Mr Morgan told the jury that he was walking to his fiancee's home after finishing work when he "realised an event was taking place" at the shop shortly before 22:00 GMT.

He said: "I noticed two men walking in the middle of the road, which would have been Dovedale Road.

"One of them I believe was carrying a pole in two hands."

Mr Morgan described to the court what he saw as he walked past the front of the store.

He said: "I heard a man shouting the words, 'I'll wet ya'. That was coming from inside the shop.

"It seemed like he had some kind of item in his right hand.

"There was a gentleman who I believe was on the floor but that is it until I entered the shop because I hid away as soon as I realised there was an event taking place."

Mr Morgan told jurors he initially hid behind cars near the shop.

From his hidden position he filmed a blue Renault Megane car leaving the scene on his mobile phone.

He said: "I was hiding back for my own safety. I realised an event was going on and I decided to get myself into safety.

"After that I went into the shop to try and help whoever I could.

"I saw a young man, he was on the floor. He had a bloodshot eye. Then I was told by the gentleman himself that the manager was in the back."

Mr Morgan said he made his way to the back of the store where he found Mr Tharmaseelan.

He said: "I saw the gentlemen with what appeared to be stab wounds on the floor."

Mr Morgan added: "It was quite a traumatic experience for me."

The trial continues.

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