COURT: Ross Parker trial is hit by delay

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THE trial of four city men accused of murdering teenager Ross Parker was today halted following lengthy legal discussions.

THE trial of four city men accused of murdering teenager Ross Parker was today halted following lengthy legal discussions.THE trial of four city men accused of murdering teenager Ross Parker was today halted following lengthy legal discussions.

The jury was sworn in, but Deputy High Court Judge Ewin Jowitt QC made the decision to delay the trial for another day, in order for further legal arguments to be carried out.

The jury of four women and eight men were told it was to be a very short day for them as there were legal matters for the prosecution and defence to discuss. And they were told to arrive back again tomorrow for a 10.30am start.

The judge pointed to the packed public gallery and said there was a lot of interest in the case and the jury should not discuss with anyone details of the case.

And Judge Jowitt also told the jury that the case, when it starts, could run for up to four weeks.

The family of Ross Parker, listened intently at front of the public gallery, which was packed with family and friends of both the defendants and the victim.

The press gallery was also packed, and extra seats had to be brought into room to ensure officers in the case also got a seat.

Shaied Nazir (21) and Ziaraff Mahrad (21), both of Cromwell Road; Ahmed Ali Awan (22), of Gladstone Street, and Sarfraz Ali (25), of Harris Street, took to the stand as the charge the murder of Ross in the early hours of Friday, September 21, last year was read out to the court.

They all plead not guilty.

As reported in The Evening Telegraph, the 17-year-old, of Bozeat Way, Westwood, Peterborough, was allegedly set upon as he walked along a footpath adjacent to Bourges Boulevard, near Russell Street.

Ross, a former pupil at Jack Hunt School, in Netherton, and a female friend had been walking home from work at the Solstice pub, in Northminster, Peterborough. The girl ran for help to the nearby dual carriageway, where she flagged down a passing police car.

A post mortem carried determined Ross had died from stab wounds.

In November, more than 400 mourners, including Ross's family and school friends, gathered for his funeral at Peterborough Crematorium. Ross's number 14 Netherton United football shirt was draped across the coffin as it was carried past his team-mates.

Family arrive to hear opening

Dressed all in black the family of Ross Parker arrived at Northampton Crown Court today.

With black umbrella shielding her from the falling rain, Leanne Parker (24), led in her parents Tony (51) and Davinia (46) at about 9.40am.

With sombre expression and with eyes fixed in front of them, the family looked steeled for the ordeal ahead of them.

Mr Parker wore a black suit with a mauve shirt and tie. Mrs Parker, who walked beside him, also carried a black umbrella and wore a black blazer and skirt with a white blouse.

About 20 minutes earlier the first of the four men accused of murdering her son entered the court flanked by two friends.

He wore a long black leather jacket and a woolly hat pulled over his head.

He was greeted by a crowd of cameramen huddled outside the court in raincoats.

Shortly before 9.30am,

Detective Chief Inspector Dick Harrison, who has led the inquiry in to Ross' death, arrived with an officer carrying a boxed document.

Minutes earlier junior prosecutor Ebrahim Monncey and other defence barristers arrived as a police helicopter hovered overhead.

Four defendants released on bail pending trial

ALL four defendants charged with the murder of Ross Parker have been on police bail.

Sarfraz Ali, Ahmed Ali Awan, Shaied Nazir and Ziaraff Mahrad were granted conditional bail earlier this year.

Ali appeared at the Royal Courts of Justice, in London, in February, while Mahrad appeared at the same court in March.

Awan appeared at Northampton Crown Court in February.

Nazir appeared at the High Court, in London, in March.

Ali and Ali Awan were released on bail on condition they live at least 50 miles from Peterborough and provide bail surety.

The conditions of bail for Mahrad and Nazir were not known.