COURT: Ross was killed 'by a hunting party'

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ROSS Parker was killed by a hunting party looking for a victim, a court heard.

ROSS Parker was killed by a hunting party looking for a victim, a court heard.ROSS Parker was killed by a hunting party looking for a victim, a court heard.

In summing up, Nigel Rumfitt QC, defending Ahmed Ali Awan (22), told Northampton Crown Court that all who were in the group which killed Ross Parker must have known what was going to happen. But he denied that Awan, of Gladstone Street, Peterborough, was present during the attack.

Mr Rumfitt said: "These people were not taking the night air. Every member of the group knew what was going on.

"These weapons had been selected before they set off. The knife was far too big to be hidden from the others. There is no doubt there was a hunting party looking for a victim."

Mr Rumfitt added that the array of weaponry meant that every member of the group knew that somebody was going to get seriously hurt or killed.

He told the jury: "Shaied Nazir (22), Ziaraff Mahrad (21), Adeel Rehman, and Zaheer Abbas, admit being at the scene of the attack. The question now is whether you think the prosecution have proved Awan was there.

"Someone killed Ross Parker, and that someone was part of the group. Not all of the people in the dock are the attackers. I would suggest some of them have appeared in the witness box."

Mr Rumfitt said that, because of the magnitude of the killing, the police were under pressure to make arrests, and that this pressure led to mistakes.

He said: "This was a big event in Peterborough, and the police were under pressure to make arrests quickly. Some of the prosecution witnesses have got away with murder at Awan's expense.

"The evidence against him comes from people with their own interests to serve."

Mr Rumfitt said that only three witnesses had incriminated Awan and that their evidence was not reliable.

He said: "Wyed Nazir said he saw Awan acting out what he had done with the knife but Wyed is up to the neck in this himself. He was arr-ested and questioned for hour after hour until he was tricked into thinking his bro-ther had changed his story, then suddenly Wyed decides to change his own story and Awan appears in it at the scene."

Wyed was later released, after saying he did not know who owned the knife or who did the stabbing and he went to the Glen Parva young offenders' institute with his family to see Shaied, the court heard.

Mr Rumfitt told the jury: "Shaied's family decided that both Wyed and Shaied should blame Awan, and then Wyed gives a statement to police saying the knife is Awan's.

"You may think that Wyed is a thoroughly offensive and dishonourable liar this, after all, is the man who was shouting, 'Taliban' and 'Osama' while in the police van and cells."

Mr Rumfitt suggested that Adeel Rehman and George (Zaheer Abbas) should also have been arrested.

He said: "You may think the reason for them not being arrested was that there was no scientific evidence against them, but there is none against Awan either."

Mr Rumfitt said that when Awan was charged the full scientific picture was not known.

He said: "It must have been thought there was blood on his clothing. If he used the knife on Ross Parker and transported it back to the shed, he would have blood on his top, but there was none.

"There is nothing to connect him scientifically to the knife, although there was Ross's blood on it and Nazir's DNA on the handle."

Mr Rumfitt said that this showed that Awan had not been in contact with the knife during the attack.

The case continues.

Prosecution criticised for not using qualified translator

THE decision by the prosecution not to use a qualified translator to listen to secret recordings of the defendants has been criticised.

Nigel Rumfitt QC said that choosing instead two policemen to translate the tapes, which were recorded in police vans at a young offenders' institute, was flawed.

Mr Rumfitt, defending Ahmed Ali Awan (22), of Gladstone Street, Peterborough, asked: "Why did the prosecution not choose to use the qualified interpreter?

"The defence easily found two experts so why did the prosecution not?

"The word of two policeman huddled around a tape recorder is not going to be too reliable, is it?'

Mr Rumfitt referred the jury to a passage of one of the secret van recordings between Nazir and Awan.

He said "It has been suggested by the prosecution that Awan was hissing at Nazir because he wanted to change his story and tell the truth.

"But if Awan was actually at home at the time of the attack, and Nazir was suddenly saying that he was there, it's not surprising that he was hissing at him."

Mr Rumfitt also said that on the van tapes Nazir is heard telling Awan that the knife went into the back of Ross's neck and ripped it open.

Mr Rumfitt asked: "Why would Nazir be saying this if it was Awan who had carried out the attack? Surely he would already know?"