South East Wales

Aamir Siddiqi murder: Co-accused Ben Hope's 'obvious lies'

Jason Richards and Ben Hope - artist impression
Image caption Co-defendant Ben Hope, right, has denied any part in Aamir Siddiqi's murder

A man jointly charged with brutally murdering Cardiff teenager Aamir Siddiqi has been accused of telling police "obvious lies".

Ben Hope, 39, says he was not involved in stabbing the 17-year-old student during a bungled contract killing.

He and Jason Richards deny murder and attempted murder of Aamir's parents.

But a barrister at Swansea Crown Court representing his co-defendant, accused him of lying about new trainers and a laptop he bought after the killing.

Mr Hope was previously accused by his co-defendant Mr Richards of being "covered in blood" after Aamir's death.

Mr Hope denied this and called Mr Richards a fantasist who "lives in his own world".

But as he was cross-examined by John Charles Rees QC, who is defending Mr Richards, he was accused of standing in a pool of blood "when that terrible act was committed" at Aamir's family home in Ninian Road, Roath.

Mr Rees also suggested Mr Hope had run out of the house where the promising student was brutally stabbed on a Sunday afternoon in April 2010, possibly leaving a footwear mark on a top step.

"No, it's not right," Mr Hope replied.

Discarded box

When he previously gave evidence during the trial Mr Hope said he had bought a new pair of trainers from a Footlocker store on the day Aamir died as his old ones were "past their sell-by date".

Image caption Aamir Siddiqi was stabbed in his family home in Roath, Cardiff

He said he put his old trainers in the box which had contained the new footwear and then discarded the box in a bin a couple of hundred yards from his home.

Mr Rees referred to Mr Hope's police interview and said: "When police ask, you forgot you changed them in a taxi. That is ridiculous Mr Hope. It is not true."

Mr Hope replied: "It is true."

Mr Rees also questioned him about a comment he made while waiting to be forensically examined following his arrest.

The court heard that Mr Hope asked an officer what would happen with his hands and was told they would be forensically examined.

He replied: "What, after days? I thought it would be all gone by now, what with washing, scrubbing nails, cleaning down surfaces with bleach and things."

Mr Rees asked: "What would be gone?".

Mr Hope replied: "It was a hypothetical question" and added that the comment "was not an admission".

Borrowed clothes

The barrister also quizzed Mr Hope about "another obvious lie" - why he hadn't told police of his trip to PC World to buy a £700 laptop on the day Aamir was attacked.

"It is quite a big item, you are not going to forget that," Mr Rees said.

"Why did you lie about it?"

Mr Hope replied: "I chose not to tell them. I did not want them to know I spent that large amount of money."

The court had also previously heard Mr Hope say in evidence that he borrowed clothes from Mr Richards on the day of the attack and left his old ones at Mr Richards's home.

When asked why, Mr Hope said when he injected his arm with drugs it was bleeding and the blood became smeared down him when he had fallen asleep in a stupor.

The court has heard that just before he died, promising student Aamir had been upstairs in his bedroom awaiting the arrival of an imam for a Koran lesson.

He came downstairs on hearing the doorbell and was attacked as he opened the door of the family home in Roath.

Aamir's father Iqbal Ahmad told how he and his wife, Parveen, were also injured while trying to fight off two attackers.

The trial continues.

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