Ilford man accused of murdering drug addict is ‘no angel’ but did not stab victim to death, court told

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 - Credit: Archant

An Ilford man accused of stabbing a drug addict to death is “no angel”, but doesn’t deserve to be wrongfully handed a life sentence, his defence lawyer insisted.

Prosecutor Oliver Glasgow and Martin Hicks, who is defending one of the accused, made their final statements to a jury at The Old Bailey on April 5 as the Liam Harman murder trial drew to a close.

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

Nathan Charles, 22, of Lowbrook Road, Ilford, has been accused of murdering Liam, along with Cedric Kyiago, 21, with addresses in Romford and Harold Hill, Kamal Hamilton-Albert, 21, from Highfield Road in Woodford Green and Gleneson Mark, 23, from Whitta Road, Manor Park in Newham.

Previously, the court heard how Charles, Hamilton-Albert and Mark spent the afternoon drinking and watching Netflix at Kyiago’s girlfriend’s house in Romford on the day of the murder.

Mr Charles, Mr Hamilton-Albert and Mr Mark then travelled to the block of flats in Harold Hill where Harman was allegedly attacked, for a drug deal.

Charles told the court that they heard a scream and then fled the scene.

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However, during the course of the trial, Benjamin Aina who is defending Mr Hamilton-Albert told the court that Mr Kyiago was also at the block of flats and that the following day he confessed to the trio that he had stabbed Liam and ordered them not to “snitch” on him.

Mr Glasgow told the court that the conflicting accounts of the meeting the four defendants had in Nandos the day after the murder, was further proof that they were lying.

“We suggest that no one is telling the truth, because the defendants are trying to get themselves out of trouble,” said Mr Glasgow.

“The [Nandos] confession story we suggest is nonsense because if there was any truth in it, it would not have been revealed from the witness box.”

Mr Glasgow questioned Mr Hamilton-Albert’s sudden confession and why he continued to keep in contact with Mr Kyiago after he had supposedly admitted to killing Liam.

Mr Mark gave a slightly different account of the dinner at Nandos, saying that Kyiago had simply confessed to being involved in a “madness”.

“Whether or not [Kyiago] took part or simply orchestrated the attack makes no difference,” Mr Glasgow told the court.

“Either as a planner, a stabber or someone who assisted or encouraged others to take part in the attack, all that matters is that they took part in some way.”

Mr Hicks who is defending Mr Charles, acknowledged that Charles’ involvement with drugs painted him in a bad light, but insisted that is not proof that he is a murderer.

“We live in anxious times and there are disturbing headlines in the newspapers of violent crime in our capital, against that backdrop you now have Nathan Charles, who you may think cuts a pretty depressing figure, because he is no angel.

“Suspicion is not enough, probably guilty is not enough.

“For just as Liam Harman didn’t deserve to lose his life, Nathan Charles doesn’t deserve to receive life for an offence he didn’t commit.

“When you look at the hard evidence and strip away some of the might-have-beens, what you’re left with is considerable doubt, that it’s almost likely that he is not guilty of the offence of murder.”