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Eight-man “team” committed spate of knife attacks that killed two, court told

Two teenagers on trial over killings of Abdikarim Hassan and Sadiq Aadam

11 September, 2018 — By William McLennan

Sadiq Aadam, 20, was killed in Malden Road

A “TEAM” of at least eight carried out a two-hour spate of knife attacks which claimed the lives of two young men, a court has heard.

Two teenagers went on trial today (Tuesday) accused of murder over their alleged role in the series of five incidents on the evening of February 20.

Isaiah Popoola and Ben Drummond, both 19, deny the charges.

The violence began at around 8:15pm, when two masked suspects were seen chasing two men into the courtyard of St Anthony’s flats, the court heard. 

Prosecuting barrister Julian Evans told the court that a 17-year-old was stabbed multiple times as the pair “desperately tried to seek refuge in the block of flats”. 

“Although serious, his injuries were successfully treated,” Mr Evans said.

Mr Evans said that a silver BMW was used to drive the suspects to the scene of the attack. He said the vehicle was seen by officers in an unmarked police car driving away at speed, carrying four men with their faces covered.

Abdikarim Hassan was killed in Bartholomew Road

Less than ten minutes later,  Abdikarim Hassan, 17, was stabbed in the chest and back as he walked along Bartholomew Road.

The attack was not caught on CCTV and there were no witnesses, the court heard. The silver BMW was seen on security cameras to pull up near to Abdikarim.

The prosecution allege that one or more of the four men left the car and stabbed Abdikarim multiple times, delivering a fatal blow to his chest.

He died outside a corner shop at the junction with Islip Street shortly after 9pm. 

The silver BMW was then parked on the Peckwater Estate, where the occupants of the car were joined by at least four other men before they climbed into a dark blue Ford transit van, the court heard.

The van was seen to leave the Peckwater Estate at around 8:30pm and at 9:20pm was picked up by CCTV cameras in Pembury Circus, Hackney.

Footage was played to the jury that showed seven men leave the vehicle armed with knives. They surrounded a victim outside a Co-Op store, before delivering a flurry of punches and kicks.

Shortly before 10pm, the van stopped in North Road. CCTV appeared to show several suspects leave the van and pursue a man along a neighbouring street, the court heard.  

At around 10:15pm, the van was seen travelling along Prince of Wales Road, the court heard.

Witnesses saw four men leave the van, with their faces covered and carrying knives, before chasing Mr Aadam and a friend along Malden Road.

Prosecuting barrister Julian Evans, said that Mr Aadam’s friend “escaped by running into a neighbouring shop”.

“Sadiq was not so fortunate,” Mr Evans said. “He was caught by the chasing group.”

Mr Aadam had “frantically ran to seek refuge” in the back of the parked car, Mr Evans said.

“He got in the back of that car and in desperation told the driver to go,” Mr Evans said. The female driver, fearing she was being robbed, fled the car.

“The four men who had been chasing Sadiq then converged on the car,” Mr Evans said. “Sadiq was dragged outside and he went to the ground.” He was then stabbed multiple times and died at the scene, the court heard.

The van was later found burnt-out in Ingestre Road.

A silver BMW, with number plates matching the vehicle recorded near the scene of the attacks, parked in Munster Square, near to Mr Popoola’s home address in Grafton Way. A key to the car was later found outside Mr Popoola’s home. 

“Droplets of blood [were] found on the front bonnet and the front off-side panel,” Mr Evans said. Forensic analysis of the blood found Abdikarim’s DNA, Mr Evans said.

He added: “Inside the BMW police found a rucksack, inside that rucksack was found a black face cover.”

The face mask was found to contain Mr Popoola’s DNA, Mr Evans added.

Mr Popoola is accused of murdering Abdikarim Hassan. He is further accused of wounding with intent and attempted wounding, in relation to the Somers Town attack.

Both Mr Popoola and Mr Drummond are accused of murdering Sadiq Aadam and committing violent disorder in relation to the Hackney incident.

The case continues.


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