South East Wales

Aamir Siddiqi murder trial accused 'asked about gloves'

Jason Richards and Ben Hope - artist impression
Image caption Ben Hope (right) and Jason Richards deny murdering Aamir Siddiqi

One of two men accused of carrying out a bungled contract killing by stabbing the wrong person went to a shop on the day of the murder and asked about buying gloves, a court has heard.

Aamir Siddiqi, 17, was stabbed to death at his home in Cardiff in April 2010.

Jason Richards, 38, and Ben Hope, 39, deny murder and attempted murder.

Swansea Crown Court heard that the defendants went to T&A Stores in nearby Cathays on the day of the attack. The trial continues.

Sawaz Noor, the shop's owner, said in a statement read out by prosecuting barrister Patrick Harrington QC, that she started working in the shop in Miskin Street at 12:00 BST.

She said after a female customer left, two males came in, with one turning around and leaving and the other staying.

"We will refer to him as male one," said Mr Harrington.

John Charles Rees QC, defending for Mr Richards, said there was no dispute the male referred to was his client.

CCTV clip

The court heard that Mr Richards bought a reel of tape then came back and asked if the shop sold gloves before leaving.

Ms Noor said male two - Mr Hope - was outside. She added that she had never seen the men before.

A CCTV clip of the incident in the shop was also played to the jury.

The prosecution claims Mr Richards and Mr Hope had been hired by a businessman.

Image caption The court has heard that Aamir Siddiqi was killed through "staggering incompetence"

It is claimed he was angry because a property deal had collapsed and he wanted to kill another man, who lived in Shirley Road.

The pair - previously described by the prosecution as showing "staggering incompetence" - were said to have gone by mistake to the Siddiqi family home around the corner in Ninian Road.

Last week, the jury heard Aamir's father Iqbal Ahmad recall how after opening the door to the men, they pushed their way into the family home and attacked the teenager "indiscriminately", without seeing who their victim was.

Aamir's mother, Parveen Ahmad, said she believed it was the local imam at the door to give him a Koran lesson, but it was the alleged killers.

On Thursday and Friday, the jury went on site visits to relevant locations.

Hope and Richards each deny one count of murder and two counts of attempted murder of the student's parents, who tried to defend their son.

The trial continues.

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