TWO men repeatedly punched, kicked and stamped on the head of an 81-year-old pensioner who had been walking to mosque as they murdered him in a racially-motivated attack, a court heard.
Rotherham pensioner Mushin Ahmed was on his way to early-morning prayers when he was subjected to a sustained assault and then left for dead on August 10 last year.
Sheffield Crown Court heard one of his alleged killers called Mr Ahmed a ‘groomer’ before the two men jogged after him and launched their attack shortly after 3am in the morning.
Mr Ahmed, who had lived at the same address in East Dene with his wife Margaret for 47 years, died in hospital from his injuries 11 days later.
Dale Jones, 30, of East Bawtry Road, Rotherham and Damien Hunt, 30, of Doncaster Road, East Dene, both deny murder.
At the opening of their trial at Sheffield Crown Court today, Andrew Robertson QC, prosecuting, said Jones was the ‘main protagonist’ in the attack after getting himself into a ‘raging fury’ following hours of drink and drug-taking that had begun the previous day.
He said both Jones and Hunt had been drinking Sambuca and taking cocaine prior to the attack.
Mr Robertson said Jones had already made threats to kill his girlfriend’s former partner that night and had tried to attack an Asian taxi driver while shouting racist abuse at him moments before coming across Mr Ahmed on Doncaster Road.
He said: “Jones immediately accused Mr Ahmed of being a ‘groomer’, his word for paedophile, for no better reason than Mr Ahmed was Asian.
“CCTV shows Mr Ahmed walking towards a roundabout but then both defendants Jones and Hunt began to bother him and broke into a jog.”
Mr Robertson said Jones and Hunt had been with two brothers, who will give evidence they saw Jones punch Ahmed and kick him in the head after witnessing part of the assault.
He said: “From the medical evidence, Mr Ahmed suffered many blows, many kicks and stamps to the head.
“Mr Ahmed was left lying on the grass where he had been knocked to the ground and kicked to the head. A passer-by found him two hours later at 5.25am and flagged down a police car.”
He was taken to hospital but died on August 21 after being left with serious injuries and brain damage.
Mr Robertson said around 3.30am Jones went to a nearby BP garage to buy Sambuca.
He said less than an hour after the attack Jones saw a friend in the street who he told ‘It is a good job you are not a P***’.
Mr Robertson said: “This is a good indication of what motivated him to attack Mr Ahmed and how he felt about it.”
He said a shoe print left on Mr Ahmed’s face matched the make of Adidas trainers Jones had seen on CCTV wearing that night.
Mr Robertson said Hunt’s blood was found at the scene on Mr Ahmed’s dentures which had been knocked out during the assault.
He told the jury: “Our case is this shows Hunt must have punched Mr Ahmed in the teeth.”
Mr Robertson said when Hunt was arrested he was found to have cuts on his knuckles which the prosecution say he sustained from punching Mr Ahmed’s teeth.
He said Hunt had told ‘lie after lie’ in his first police interview on August 13, saying he had been at home all night and had cut his knuckles after hitting a lamppost while riding his bicycle.
The court was told Hunt then gave another account to police on August 19, saying he had been at the scene but had tried to stop Jones from assaulting Mr Ahmed and had cut his knuckles punching Jones in the face.
Mr Robertson said: “It is difficult to see how punching Jones in the teeth would leave Hunt’s DNA on Mr Ahmed’s dentures.
“In effect, this account will form the basis of his defence in this trial.”
He said while Jones gave no comment interviews to the police, it is understood his defence is to be that Hunt was ‘solely and wholly responsible for the fatal assault’.