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South Hampstead murder trial: Accused killer says he went to attack scene for cannabis

PUBLISHED: 17:23 04 February 2020 | UPDATED: 12:52 05 February 2020

Cabdullahi Hassan, 20, was fatally stabbed on July 25 last year. Picture: Met Police

Cabdullahi Hassan, 20, was fatally stabbed on July 25 last year. Picture: Met Police

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A man accused of a fatal stabbing told a court he did not visit an estate to commit murder, but was there for a cannabis deal.

Ainsworth House, St John's Wood, where Cabdullahi Hassan was killed. Picture: Harry TaylorAinsworth House, St John's Wood, where Cabdullahi Hassan was killed. Picture: Harry Taylor

On July 25 last year, shortly before midnight, Cabdullahi Hassan, 20, of South Hampstead, was fatally stabbed five times in Ainsworth House, St John's Wood. His cousin, Ayub Hassan, 22, of South Hampstead, was stabbed twice but survived.

Amil Choudury, 20, of Walterton Road, Maida Hill, and Mohammed Miah, 20, of Lancefield Street, West Kilburn, deny Mr Hassan's murder, and charges of manslaughter, attempted murder and wounding with intent.

At the Old Bailey on Tuesday (February 4), Miah said he knew nothing of the "planned" attack on Mr Hassan, and denied knowing him or his cousin. He said his friend, Kamel Hassan, who was involved in the fight involving "four or five people", was a "snake" and set up the attack without telling him. Kamel Hassan fled the country following the murder.

Miah, who appeared in court on crutches having been stabbed twice during the incident, said he was having a cigarette and using his phone in Ainsworth House, oblivious to what was about to happen.

He said: "I remember Cabdullahi and Kamel Hassan were grabbing each other and someone threw the first punch. From there it kicked off."

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Questioned by his defence barrister, Sarah Forshaw QC, Miah said he saw a man wearing a hoodie and tracksuit move towards him and pull out a knife. He said: "I was thinking: 'What is happening? I came here to assist Kamel to buy cannabis and now all of this is happening'."

Miah described how he tried to wrest free the knife with which he was stabbed.

He said: "I thought: 'I am going to die now.'"

Miah said his heart was "pounding out of his chest" as he crawled back to the car bleeding before Choudhury took him home. He later received treatment at St Mary's Hospital.

Previously, the court heard that earlier on the day of the stabbing Kamel Hassan was involved in a fight at South Hampstead station with Cadbdullahi Hassan, whose murder was committed for "revenge".

Miah admitted he knew of the earlier fracas but said he was unaware of the plan for retaliation.

On Monday (February 3), Choudhury denied going to Ainsworth House to inflict violence or murder Mr Hassan.

The trial continues.

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