Norfolk

Herbie Hide mansion death: Witnesses urged to break silence

Tafadzwa Khan, 25, was found dead after a birthday party held at Herbie Hide's Bawburgh home in 2012 Image copyright Norfolk Constabulary
Image caption Tafadzwa Khan, 25, was found dead after a birthday party held at Herbie Hide's Bawburgh home in 2012

A coroner has urged witnesses to break their silence after ruling a man was killed in an "unprovoked" attack at the home of an ex-world champion boxer.

Tafadzwa Khan, 25, known as Taffy, was found dead after a party at Herbie Hide's Norfolk mansion in March 2012.

An inquest heard a man who had been accused of murder refused to answer questions from coroner Jacqueline Lake.

Ms Lake said she could not be certain Mr Khan was the victim of an unlawful killing.

She recorded a narrative conclusion that Mr Khan died after being stabbed three times in an "unprovoked" assault.

Image caption About 200 people attended the event at Mr Hide's mansion in Long Lane, Bawburgh, near Norwich

Police charged party-goer Joshua Burton, then aged 20, with murder but the case was later dismissed.

Ms Lake said: "It is clear that Mr Khan was stabbed and the assault was not in self-defence. There is no evidence that he was acting in an aggressive or provoking manner.

"If anybody has any information, they should come forward."

Image copyright AP
Image caption Herbie Hide won the WBO heavyweight title for the first time in 1994 and regained the title in 1997

Mr Khan's stepfather, John Sinclair, 62, from Bushey, Hertfordshire, hoped the inquest would reach a conclusion of unlawful killing.

"It is just the wrong verdict from the coroner," he said, speaking after the inquest held at Norwich Magistrates' Court. "She may not be able to say who was responsible, but it is clear that he was killed for no legal reason.

Image caption Mr Hide was not present when the killing happened

"We will continue to fight for justice."

He said Mr Khan, who moved to the UK from Zimbabwe in 1998, was a "peaceful, lovely young man and did nothing to deserve this".

The party had been arranged to celebrate the 50th birthday of Mr Hide's close friend, Alvin Prescod.

Giving evidence, Mr Burton accepted he was at the party but repeatedly refused to answer questions from Ms Lake.

Image caption Herbie Hide had been at the party earlier in the evening but was not present when Mr Khan died

Witnesses had said they saw him carrying a knife. Asked about this he said: "No comment".

Asked if he stabbed Mr Khan, he repeated: "No comment."

Witness Steven Miller said he saw Brandon Rodney-Lawrence - known as Ace - stab the victim "four, five, six, seven" times.

Mr Rodney-Lawrence said he saw Mr Burton punch Mr Khan but did not see any knife.

Fellow reveller James Clough told the inquest he had taken a knife to the party but had lost it.

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