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COURT: Deputy mayor's defence for Ali

A MAN accused of murdering Ross Parker has been described as "caring and responsible", by the deputy mayor of Peterborough, Raja Akhtar.

A MAN accused of murdering Ross Parker has been described as "caring and responsible", by the deputy mayor of Peterborough, Raja Akhtar.A MAN accused of murdering Ross Parker has been described as "caring and responsible", by the deputy mayor of Peterborough, Raja Akhtar.

In a statement read to Northampton Crown Court, Councillor Akhtar said he had known Sarfraz Ali (25), of Harris Street, for "a long time".

The reference was read yesterday by Mohammed Latif, defending Ali.

It said: "I have known his family for more than 25 years. I have known Mr Ali's family because his father was an active person regarding the mosque.

"When I heard that he was a suspect for the murder, I was shocked, because it was out of character. I have known him from a very young age and have known him to be caring and responsible."

Mr Latif also read to the court a statement by Mohammad Choudhary, who is the Labour councillor for the central ward in Peterborough.

Councillor Choudhary said: "I have always found Sarfraz to be honest, trustworthy, and not as a troublemaker. I was shocked and surprised to hear of his involvement in this case, because this is completely out of character."

The court heard that Ali lied to police about the night Ross was killed because he was following the "official line" of Awan.

Ali previously told the court he slept from about midnight to 3.30am on the night of the attack, at Nazir's home in Cromwell Road.

Ali told the court that after returning from a night out at Liquid nightclub with Awan,

Nazir, and Mahrad, Awan had gone home. But prosecuting, Stephen Coward QC, asked Ali how he could be sure if Awan had gone home if he had been asleep.

Mr Coward said: "For all you know Mr Awan could have changed his mind and come back, so why did you say, 'Ahmed did go home there is no way that he stayed there (Nazir's).

Ali replied: "At that time it was being suggested he (Awan) walked into the house with all of us, and I was saying he didn't."

Mr Coward said: "You have been given the official Awan line and that is when you got to 122 (Nazir's home) he said his greetings and then went home, and what you are doing here is driving that home to police."

Ali replied: "No."

The case continues.

Knife was not mine, says Awan

AHMED Ali Awan has told the court he did not attack Ross Parker, or own the knife used to kill him.

Giving evidence for the first time, Awan (22), of Gladstone Street, denied being at the scene of the killing.

However, he said his co-accused, Shaied Nazir (22) had been involved in the attack.

Awan said that after a night out, with Nazir and the two other accused, Ziaraff Mahrad (22), and Sarfraz Ali (25), at Liquid nightclub, in New Road, Peterborough, he had left them at Nazir's home, at 122 Cromwell Road, at about midnight.

He said he had walked home and had gone to bed before waking at 6am the next morning going to work.

Nigel Rumfitt QC, defending Awan, said: "Did you play any part whatsoever in the killing of Ross Parker?"

Awan replied: "No."

Mr Rumfitt said: "Was the knife used to kill him yours?"

Awan replied: "No".

Mr Rumfitt said: "Had you ever seen the knife before these proceedings started?"

Awan replied: "No".

Mr Rumfitt said: "There have been suggestions that you own a collection of knives and replica firearms. Is there any truth in that?"

Awan replied: "No, there isn't."

Mr Rumfitt said: "There have been suggestions that you were running the show and telling people what to do. Was it like that?"

Awan replied: "No, it wasn't."

Awan said that on the night of the killing, he did not go into Nazir's house because he had to be up at 6am for work.

Mr Rumfitt told the court that after he was arrested, Awan was put in the same police cell as Nazir. Awan said: "Shaied told me he had been involved in the attack with other people."

Awan said Nazir had told him that Adeel Rehman and Zaheer Abbas, who have given evidence for the prosecution, were also at the scene with Mahrad and "some others".

Awan told the court that Nazir also asked him to say that he had been "with them in his house, watching DVDs", but Awan said he did not agree to the request.

Mr Rumfitt said: "Did you ever ask Shaied, or anyone else, to give a false alibi?"

Awan replied: "No."

Ali was "scared" of Awan

SARFRAZ Ali was yesterday accused in court of being scared of co-defendant Ahmed Ali Awan because he was the "boss" and "called the shots".

Stephen Coward, prosecuting, said that on the night of the killing, Ali, Awan and the other two defendants, Shaied Nazir and Ziaraff Mahrad, had left the Liquid nightclub, in the city centre when Awan wanted to.

Mr Coward said: "Was he the boss of you four, the one who made the decisions, the one who made the orders?"

Ali replied: "I am nobody's puppet."

Mr Coward said that Ali was enjoying himself at the nightclub and had arranged to meet a girl called Mina, but had stayed for less than an hour and not met the girl.

Mr Coward said: "You are having a good time, so is Shaied, so is Ziggy (Mahrad) but one of the four (Awan) said he didn't want to stay.

"Why didn't you say to him, 'You go?'"

Ali said that he did not treat his friends like that.

Mr Coward said: "When you left you were all going like little puppies to follow Mr Awan."

Ali replied: "No."

Mr Coward said: "Or am I right in suggesting he (Awan) calls the shots?"

Ali replied: "No."

 

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