Birmingham & Black Country

Birmingham riots deaths: Murder trial shown car impact

(From left) Haroon Jahan, Shazad Ali and Abdul Musavir
Image caption Haroon Jahan, Shazad Ali and Abdul Musavir were pronounced dead in hospital

Footage of the moment when three men were hit by a car during riots in Birmingham has been shown at the trial of the men accused of their murders.

Haroon Jahan, 21, and brothers Shazad Ali, 30, and Abdul Musavir, 31, died after being run over in Dudley Road, Winson Green. Eight men deny murder.

Family members sobbed as CCTV footage from 10 August 2011 was shown.

A heated argument began in the public gallery, leading the judge, Mr Justice Flaux, to clear the Birmingham court.

Members of the public gallery were asked to calm down.

'Shocking circumstances'

Prosecutor Tim Spencer QC told the jury: "They were killed in shocking circumstances. It would be very surprising if you did not find the circumstances of their deaths shocking.

"You need, I am afraid, to be prepared to be shocked, ladies and gentlemen.

The defendants are: Adam King, 24, of Redhill Road, Kings Norton; Joshua Donald, 27, of Kelsall Croft, Ladywood; Ian Beckford, 30, of Holly Bush Grove, Quinton; Ryan Goodwin, 21, of Cranford Street, Smethwick; Shaun Flynn, 26, of Wandsworth Road, Kingstanding; Everton Graham, 30, of Mount Pleasant Avenue, Handsworth; Juan Pablo Ruiz-Gaviria, 31, of Coplow Street, Ladywood; and 18-year-old Aaron Parkins, of Cavendish Road, Edgbaston.

They all deny three counts of murder.

'Chariot charge'

Mr Spencer told the court the defendants were in three cars - a Ford Fiesta, a Mazda and an Audi.

The Audi could be seen to be swerving on the CCTV footage as it travelled along Dudley Road.

Mr Spencer asked the jury "to note the way the Audi drives and note the crowd being drawn towards it".

He highlighted an arm signal made by the driver of the Mazda out of the window, which Mr Spencer alleged was "a signal to those in the Fiesta to go".

The footage then showed the two cars driving down the road with the Mazda hitting the three men.

Mr Spencer said: "The driving that you have just seen was not chance, it was not accidental.

"It was deliberate and co-ordinated. It was a modern day equivalent of a chariot charge and it was deadly."

Growing tension

He said the Audi contained Mr King, Mr Goodwin, Mr Ruiz-Gaviria and Mr Flynn. The Fiesta, contained Mr Donald and Mr Parkins, he added.

The QC said the Mazda contained Mr Beckford and Mr Graham.

Jurors heard that on the evenings of 8 and 9 August, local businesses were targeted by rioters in the city.

Mr Spencer said the fatal collision followed days of growing tension in the area between gangs of youths in cars and crowds of mostly Asian men from the community.

He said the Mazda stopped by the crowds on Dudley Road the night the men died and the occupants shouted racial abuse and threats.

The occupants also said "we're going to shoot you" to the men on the street.

Mr Spencer told the court that some of a group of between 50 and 100 Asian men on the streets were armed with sticks, batons and bats.

Other members of the Asian group had picked up bricks or rocks after beginning to gather at about 21:30 BST on 9 August to prevent looters from targeting local businesses, the QC said.

In his opening address Mr Spencer said "perfectly legitimate questions" could be asked about whether the conduct of some members of the Asian group was lawful.

Mr Spencer added: "We do suggest that there was a genuine desire amongst many if not all of them to protect their businesses and livelihoods."

The QC said the driving which culminated in three deaths was "out of all sensible proportion" to anything that had gone on before and was "murder and nothing less".

The trial continues.

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