COURT: 'Awan liked to think he was a gangster he's got a fantasy about knives'

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A MAN accused of murdering Ross Parker liked to think of himself as a gangster and had a "fantasy for knives", a court heard.

A MAN accused of murdering Ross Parker liked to think of himself as a gangster and had a "fantasy for knives", a court heard. A MAN accused of murdering Ross Parker liked to think of himself as a gangster and had a "fantasy for knives", a court heard.

Ahmed Ali Awan (22), of Gladstone Street, was feared by many people in Peterborough,his former friend Adeel Rehman (21) told the jury.

Giving evidence at the murder trial, Mr Rehman told Northampton Crown Court that Awan had a collection of knives at his home and was "not scared of anyone".

After the killing in the early hours of September 21 last year, Mr Rehman said he had seen Awan, who had held up a bloody 18-inch long knife and said "cherish the blood".

He said he had been with Awan and the three other accused, Shaied Nazir (21), Ziaraff Mahrad (21), both of Cromwell Road, and Sarfraz Ali (25), of Harris Street, just before the killing. All four deny murder.

Mr Rehman told the jury that he saw Ross Parker being kicked and punched by a gang of men, including the four defendants, on a cyclepath near Bourges Boulevard.

He said he had seen Nazir raise his arm to Ross in a punching movement before a group of men gathered round and kicked and punched the teenager. He said that after Nazir, Awan was the next to get involved and was also the first to run away.

Mr Rehman, who lives with his brother and sister-in-law, in Saxby Gardens, Dogsthorpe, Peterborough, said he followed Awan back to the shed at the rear of Nazir's house, at 122 Cromwell Road, where he had met up with the defendants earlier on in the night.

Mr Rehman, who was wearing a black raincoat and dark blue jeans, told the court: "He (Awan) was in front of me trying to open Shaied Nazir's gate, but it wouldn't open. He wasn't able to get in. He sat down on a rock next to the gate.

"He said to me 'Where are the boys? Where are the rest of them? Where are they?" Prosecuting, Stephen Coward QC, said: "Did they arrive?"

Mr Rehman replied: "Yes they did, within seconds." Mr Coward asked Mr Rehman if anything happened before the others arrived.

Mr Rehman said: "Yes. Ahmed put his hand in his jacket. When he pulled it out I saw a blade. It was an 18-inch machete that was with the handle. It had a jagged edge. There was blood on the knife."

Mr Coward said: "Before the other boys arrived, did Ahmed say anything about the knife?" Mr Rehman said: "From my police statement, it was 'Cherish the blood' but I can't remember now."

Cross examining Mr Rehman on behalf of Nazir, Michael Lawson QC, said: "You described him (Awan) to police officers as thinking of himself as a gangster."

Mr Rehman replied: "He had an egotistic mind and he would describe himself as a gangster. Up to then he was a friend, but after that I didn't feel I knew him."

Mr Lawson said: "You said he had a fantasy about knives to police." Mr Rehman said: "Yes. Everyone knows he's got a fantasy about knives."

Mr Lawson said: "Did you tell police he had had a collection of knives for some time, and was it true?" Mr Rehman said: "Yes it was. What he was collecting for, I don't know. He had never used them up to this date."

Mr Lawson suggested that Mr Rehman and some others had attacked Ross and his girl friend Nicola before they reached Nazir. Mr Rehman said: "He was attacked by Shaied Nazir. Ahmed ran there and there were two others behind him which I recall were Sarfraz Ali and Ziaraff Mahrad."

Mr Lawson said: "You told police that Awan not only thought of himself as a gangster but also had a very short fuse."

Mr Rehman said: "I have heard stories about him taking people hostage and putting cats in microwaves. A lot of people in the city are feared of him." Mr Rehman said that on the night of the killing he had finished work at his family's business, a takeaway, at about 10pm.

He met up with other friends, including Zaheer Abbas who has already given evidence in the trial, earlier in the evening.

He said they had smoked and talked in a car before he and Abbas had gone to the shed at 122 Cromwell Road, where they met the defendants.

Mr Rehman said all six of them went out for "a walk" which took them to the scene of Ross's death. The trial continues.

'Where I live is all white - I feared for my family'

ADEEL Rehman told the court he did not go to police after witnessing the attack on Ross Parker because he feared for the safety of his family.

Mr Rehman, of Saxby Gardens, Dogsthorpe, Peterborough, said he had been very shocked by the incident, but had not realised Ross was dead until the next day.

Mr Rehman admitted to the court that when he was arrested and first interviewed by police he lied about what happened on the night, but in following interviews he claimed he told the truth.

Prosecuting, Stephen Coward QC asked him: "What was the change?"

Mr Rehman replied: "There was so much happening on the second day, as if there were riots going to happen. Where I live it is all white people and I feared for my family.

"I left it a day or two, but I should have gone to police straight away. Fear built in me and I feared what would happen to my family.

"It got harder the longer I left it." Mr Coward said: "What was it that persuaded you to talk to police?"

Mr Rehman replied: "I couldn't keep it inside of me. Just for once, I was so shocked that in my second interview I told them (police) what I saw. Then I found it difficult but I was still frightened that if someone found out what had happened, something would happen to my family."

Defending Nazir, Michael Lawson QC said: "When you made the police statement on October 15 you left out altogether that you had been at the scene."

Mr Rehman replied: "Yes, I did. Even though I was horror-struck I didn't know who to go to or who to tell. This wasn't a small thing in Peterborough. People just wanted to fight, riot or something. I was just trying to protect me and my family."

Mr Lawson said: "You were trying to protect yourself because you were involved weren't you?" Mr Rehman replied: "No".

Mr Lawson said: "The only time you put yourself at the scene was when you were under suspicion of murder."

Mr Rehman replied: "At the time, people wanted to know who did it. The second day everyone hated us because of our colour and everything was coming down."

Mr Lawson said: "You could have spoken to somebody and told them who was responsible."

Mr Rehman answered: "Where I live is completely white. Who would I speak to? If you give people a reason to give you a problem, then you are going to have a problem. If anyone had heard about it they would have taken action."