CamdenNewJournal

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Kilburn murder trial jury told gun had been used before

'In Camden and Islington you have got 16-year-olds driving stolen cars. It’s quite a common thing right now in the borough'

28 September, 2017 — By William McLennan

Yasir Beshira died in December 2016

A GUN used to kill a man on a busy shopping street had also been used in a shooting in Kentish Town, allegedly carried out by a man on trial for murder, a jury has heard.

An Old Bailey trial has heard that a string of shootings on the streets of Camden at the end of last year are believed to be linked to the killing of Yasir Beshira, who was gunned down in Kilburn High Road on December 8. A 16-year-old boy, who cannot be named because of his age, is alleged to have shot Mr Beshira in a side street next to a branch of Nando’s in front of stunned shoppers.

Sammi Tesfazgi, 21, of Lithos Road, West Hampstead, and Rilind Tahiri, 22, of Islington, are also accused of murder, having driven the boy to the scene of the killing in a stolen Range Rover. All three deny the charges.

The court heard that Mr Tesfazgi, who bought and sold stolen vehicles, had been shot as he sat in a parked car in Fellows Road on September 21. He survived the attack, receiving treatment for gunshot wounds to the arm at St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, but refused to co-operate with detectives. On September 29, eight days later, an unidentified gunman opened fire on two young men in Prince of Wales Road, hitting one in the foot, before fleeing the scene in a waiting getaway car.

Prosecutor Brian O’Neill QC said that crime scene investigators had found a knife containing Mr Tesfazgi’s DNA in Harmood Street “just around the corner from where someone had been shot with the same gun that was used to kill Yasir Beshira”.

While the weapon used to kill Mr Beshira – who was known to his friends as “Loopy” – has never been found, bullet casings found at the scene of both shootings prove that it was the same gun, the jury heard. Mr O’Neill told the jury that Mr Tesfazgi “took the law into his own hands” after surviving the gun attack in Fellows Road. He has never been arrested or charged in relation to the Kentish Town shooting and denies any involvement.

The jury had not been told of his alleged involvement at the opening of the trial last month because detectives from Trident, the Met’s gang crime unit, were still awaiting the results of forensic tests, that were only received on August 17 – nearly 11 months after the shooting and one day after Mr Tesfazgi went on trial accused of Mr Beshira’s murder.

Mr Tahiri, who told the court that he dealt in stolen cars, said that he had driven the teenage boy to the Webheath Estate to buy cannabis and had no idea that the youngster had instead shot Mr Beshira dead. He said: “In Camden and Islington you have got 16-year-olds driving stolen cars. It’s quite a common thing right now in the borough.”

Asked why he had refused to answer police questions when interviewed about the killing, he said: “I grew up on a council estate. It’s not something people like to do, talk to the police and stuff.”

The trial continues.

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