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Two men from Ilford murdered drug user for revenge, court told

PUBLISHED: 07:00 02 March 2018

Police and forensic team at the scene of the murder in Straight Road Harold Hill

Police and forensic team at the scene of the murder in Straight Road Harold Hill

Archant

A man from Ilford accused of murder said that he was only at the scene of the attack to buy drugs, a court has heard.

Liam Harman, 27 was reportedly attacked by three men in a communal stairwell on July 11, 2017 in Straight Road, Harold Hill.

The trial’s four defendants all deny murder.

Nathan Charles, 23, from Lowbrook Road, Ilford, provided a written statement after his arrest, in which he claimed that he travelled to the block of flats in Harold Hill with two friends to meet a drug dealer and buy some cannabis.

Prior to his arrest, an empty swiss-knife box set was discovered at Charles’ family home.

A 8in chef’s knife, 8in carving knife, and a pair of scissors were missing from the set.

After the police told Charles that they had recovered two pairs of latex gloves from Harold Hill with his DNA on it, and an empty box of knives at his home, Charles provided another statement,

This time he explained that he was wearing the gloves to sort drugs into bags and the knives were to cut up the drugs.

Charles also identified his two friends as Kamal Hamilton-Albert, 21, from Highfield Road in Woodford Green and Gleneson Mark, 23 from Whitta Road, Manor Park in Newham.

Upon his arrest, Hamilton-Albert provided a statement in which he denied all knowledge of and involvement in Liam’s murder.

Cedric Kyiago, 21, with addresses in Daventry Road, Romford, and Mimosa Close, Harold Hill, is a local drug dealer that Liam had stolen drugs from, the Old Bailey heard.

Prosecutor Oliver Glasgow told jurors that on the day Liam was killed, he received a text message that read, “you’re a dead man” from Kyiago.

There were no witnesses to the attack on Liam, who the court heard had spent the afternoon of July 11, smoking crack cocaine with friends.

He gave one of his friends, Gregory Samuel, £8 to purchase more drugs.

Mr Samuel was leaving the block of flats on his bicycle to buy the drugs when he heard screaming coming from the flat.

He went back to investigate and found Liam lying in a pool of blood.

Mr Samuel called the emergency services but did not remain in the flat because he was scared that Liam’s attackers might return.

The court heard Liam was stabbed 10 times and his body had eight slash wounds.

Two of the stab wounds were fatal, one to the chest caused damage to the left lung and one caused damage to his spleen.

He had been stabbed with such force that two of his ribs were broken.

Liam tried to fend off his blows which is why there were also wounds to his fingers and hands.

Mr Glasgow said: “Given the absence of any eye-witness account or direct evidence to their involvement, the mere fact that the evidence against them is circumstantial, does not make it any less compelling.

“It is the crown’s case that murder was the result of Liam’s foolish decision to rob the wrong people.

“Once he started to rob the local dealers, you may think it was only a matter of time before someone took revenge.”

The trial continues.

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