COURT: Nazir: 'I lied to police over killing to protect my friends'

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ONE of the men accused of murdering Ross Parker has spoken in court for the first time about the night of the killing.

ONE of the men accused of murdering Ross Parker has spoken in court for the first time about the night of the killing. ONE of the men accused of murdering Ross Parker has spoken in court for the first time about the night of the killing.

Shaied Nazir told Northampton Crown Court he had been out with his co-accused on the night Ross was stabbed, to celebrate his recent marriage.

Giving evidence in the murder trial yesterday, Nazir (22) denied carrying out the attack on Ross, but admitted he had lied to police about his movements on the night, to protect his friends.

Dressed in a dark suit, white shirt and tie, Nazir told the jury he had been married in Pakistan in August last year, and had not been out with his friends, Ahmed Ali Awan, Ziaraff Mahrad and Sarfraz Ali, since he got back.

He said the four of them went out drinking on the night of Thursday, September 20, last year.

Michael Lawson QC, defending Nazir, asked his client about the night out with his co-accused. He said: "It was a celebration. It was the first night we had gone out as a four. We wanted to have a celebration of getting married. We just wanted a night out, have a drink in a club and go home."

Mr Lawson said: "Did you contemplate beating someone up or worse?"

Nazir replied: "No".

Mr Lawson said: "Was that part of the plan?"

Nazir replied: "No".

Nazir, of Cromwell Road, Peterborough, Awan (22), of Gladstone Street, Mahrad (21), also of Cromwell Road, and Ali (25), of Harris Street, all deny murder.

The court heard yesterday that when Nazir was arrested, he lied to police by saying he had been at the scene of the killing, but left after seeing five or six people around a body on the floor.

However, Nazir said he later changed his story.

Mr Lawson said: "You said that when you got back to the shed there was blood on your trousers and boots, and there was a knife on the chest freezer that you washed and then you changed your trousers. Was that true or false?"

Nazir replied: "True".

Mr Lawson said: "You said that none of the four had been involved in the attack. Was that true?".

Nazir replied: "That was not true".

Mr Lawson said: "That story that you say was not true, how had that come about?"

Nazir replied: "I was lying and I was an idiot for lying. I was trying to protect myself and my friends."

Nazir said the story he told police in interview was partly made up by himself and partly what he had been "told to say".

Nazir said he never denied being at the scene of the killing, because police would know he was lying when they found "the murder weapon" and his bloodied clothes at his home at 122 Cromwell Road.

Nazir said he and his co-accused came up with an "alibi" to "deny being anywhere near the scene".

Mr Lawson asked him: "Why"?

Nazir replied: "Because I knew something had happened, and I didn't know what, so I just stay away from it."

Nazir told the court he was going to burn the bloodied clothes with white spirit, but said he did not get the chance before being arrested.

Mr Lawson said: "Why was the knife and clothing left in the garage?"

Nazir replied: "Because the trousers were mine. I asked for Ziggy's (Mahrad) clothes and I asked him to take the knife, but he never took it."

Nazir said he and Awan had bought the knife earlier in the summer from Second Front militaria, in Alexandra

Rebellious teenager who ditched religion for a world of drink and drugs

SHAIED Nazir told the court he started drinking heavily and smoking drugs in his early teens.

Giving evidence for the first time, Nazir (22) told Northampton Crown Court yesterday he had been brought up as a Muslim by his parents and had worshipped at a mosque.

But the court heard he started to go against his parent's religious beliefs when he was a teenager by going out late, drinking "to excess" and smoking cannabis.

The court heard that Nazir was the only one of the accused with previous convictions a caution for using threatening behaviour in March 1999 and a 50 fine for breach of bail conditions for failing to attend a police station in April, 2001.

Referring to the offences, Nazir's barrister Michael Lawson QC, said: "Was this all part of your rebellion against your family values and adopting western habits?"

Nazir replied: "Yes".

The court heard that Nazir, of Cromwell Road, went to Bretton Woods School, in Bretton, Peterborough, where he gained 11 GCSEs.

He then spent six months studying Information Technology and six months studying engineering, but quit both courses and got a job working for an agency in a factory.

Nazir said he worked in a takeaway in King's Lynn for two-and-a-half years with co-accused Ziaraff Mahrad, before finding out he was to be married in spring 2001.

Nazir said he also earned money by taking children to and from school each day in his Mercedes van.

Nazir said his father returned to his homeland of Kashmir, between Pakistan and India, in April, for health reasons, and to arrange marriages for him and his brother Wyed (18).

He said he married on August 2 and Wyed was married the next day. The court heard that co-accused Ahmed Ali Awan (22) was like a "step brother" to him and was his best man at the wedding.

Nazir returned to England on August 30, but his wife, who gave birth to his child six months ago, did not come with him.