Man cleared of knife murder after drugs robbery in Tufnell Park street

Twenty-four-year-old told Old Bailey trial he acted in self-defence

Friday, 15th February 2019 — By Samantha Booth

Ali Al Har was stabbed in Corinne Road on September 18 last year 

A MAN has been cleared of murdering a 25-year-old in a Tufnell Park street.

An Old Bailey trial was told how Abdirahman Abdullahi stabbed Ali Al Har in Corinne Road on September 18 last year after robbing him nearby. The 24-year-old had already pleaded guilty to robbery but denied intending to kill Mr Al Har, claiming it was self-defence.

After a hearing that lasted just over a week, a jury yesterday (Thursday) returned a not guilty verdict on the murder charge. They also found him not guilty on an alternative charge of manslaughter.

He will be sentenced at the same court for the robbery charge on March 8.

Mr Abdullahi wept in court on Monday as he told jurors the victim and his family “did not deserve this”.

Giving evidence, Mr Abdullahi claimed he did not realise Mr Al Har was seriously injured before leaving the scene.

During questioning, he cried while recalling his version of events. Asked by his barrister Paul Mendelle why he had wept, Mr Abdullahi said: “Ali, his parents did not deserve this.”

He continued to cry as he was escorted back to the dock at the rear of the court room.

The court heard last week how it seemed the pair had been in contact for Mr Abdullahi to buy cannabis from Mr Al Har.

Jurors were told Mr Abdullahi had armed himself with a 30cm-long combat knife and planned to rob Mr Al Har of his bag, thought to contain 1kg of cannabis. As Mr Abdullahi ran away, Mr Al Har followed him from Ospringe Road along Brecknock Road to Corinne Road.

On Monday, Mr Abdullahi told the court Mr Al Har had grabbed him by his left arm in Corinne Road, which caused him to swing around to face him. He said he was “scared” for his life as

Mr Al Har was trying to take the knife out of his hands.

“He was trying to get the knife and I would not let the knife out of my hands,” said Mr Abdullahi, who claimed he had dropped the bag on the floor before the “scuffle”, which the prosecution disputed.

Mr Al Har was stabbed twice in his leg, severing a major artery and causing profuse bleeding. He died at the scene.

Asked by prosecutor Julian Evans why he did not call an ambulance for Mr Al Har, Mr Abdullahi said: “I did not think he was dying.”

Mr Abdullahi went to his supported accommodation hostel, St Mungo’s in Brecknock Road, before travelling to meet his friend Kyron Samuels in Brentford. They then travelled to Oxford, where they stayed until their arrest three days ­later.

Mr Samuels, 27, has pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice and will be sentenced on March 1.

Asked by Mr Mendelle what he had been thinking about in the days before the arrest, Mr Abdullahi said: “He [Mr Al Har] did not deserve to die.”

Mr Mendelle probed: “When you planned the robbery, how did you expect Mr Al Har would react when you showed the knife?”

Mr Abdullahi responded: “That he would get scared then back off.”

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