Sharma’arke Hassan murder – Teen shooting ‘lookout’ Chen Shire set to stay silent

Thursday, 3rd June 2010


Published: 03 June 2010

THE suspect alleged to have acted as a lookout when a gunman claimed the life of schoolboy Sharma’arke Hassan in Camden Town has decided against testifying in his own defence.

Brendan Kelly QC told jurors – who have already seen two other accused in the witness box – that they would not be hearing from his client during the Old Bailey murder trial, which is now in its closing stages.

“Mr Chen Shire will not be giving evidence on his own behalf,” Mr Kelly announced.

Shire, 23, of Carroll Close, Kentish Town, with his cousin Did Parkes, 25, of Chichele Road, Cricklewood, and a 17-year-old from Camden Town – who cannot be identified for legal reasons – all deny murdering Sharma’arke, 17, who was shot in the head in Gilbey’s Yard in May 2008. Parkes is alleged to have fired the fatal shot while Mr Shire kept watch.

A former Acland Burghley student known as “Sharkey”, Sharma’arke, who the court has heard was probably not the intended target – was ambushed as he walked with two friends. He lived with his family in nearby Agar Grove.

Following Mr Shire’s decision against testifying, Judge Martin Stephens QC warned that jurors “may draw such conclusions they think proper” from his failure to go into the witness box. Judge Stephens told the jury: “There are matters which may be put before you and evidence called on his behalf.”

He adjourned the trial until Monday when Mr Kelly will conclude Mr Shire’s case.

After that, prosecution and defence QCs will make their closing submissions and the Judge will sum up the evidence from the two-month hearing.

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