Page last updated at 12:21 GMT, Wednesday, 16 July 2008 13:21 UK

Murder accused denies drugs link

Shooting victims Keith Cowell, 52, and his son Matthew, 17
Keith Cowell, his son Matthew and a third man were shot dead

A man accused of a triple murder believed to have taken place after a drug deal went wrong has denied dealing or even taking drugs.

Keith Cowell, 52, his son Matthew, 17, and Tony Dulieu, 33, from Essex, were killed at the Cowells' Bishop's Stortford house on 28 August, 2007.

Kevan Thakrar, 21, of Stevenage, and Miran Thakrar, 24, of no fixed address, deny murder at St Albans Crown Court.

Kevan said he had not visited the town except possibly when a boy.

He said as a youngster he may have taken part in a swimming gala in Bishop's Stortford.

Kevan is alleged to have accompanied his brother Miran to carry out a revenge attack after a drug deal had gone wrong.

The court heard a machine gun was used to kill Keith and Matthew Cowell and Mr Dulieu at the Cowells' home in Plaw Hatch Close.

Christine Jennings, 54, was shot in the foot and stabbed and Claire Evans, 23, was stabbed six times as she protected her daughter Courtney from the attackers.

Tony Dulieu
Tony Dulieu was a friend of Keith and Matthew Cowell

Asked by his barrister Dorian Lovell-Pank if he had anything to do with the incident at the Cowells' house Kevan said: "No - definitely not."

When questioned about drugs, he said: "I have never taken any illegal drugs. I have never dealt in drugs. I don't drink. I would drink only on my birthday or New Year."

He said he was against people dealing in drugs like cocaine and heroin, but said he knew his brother Miran dealt in skunk cannabis.

It is alleged that Miran Thakrar carried out the shootings with the machine gun, accompanied by Kevan who was the one who attacked Christine Jennings with a knife.

Three other men and a woman are also on trial for offences linked to the attack.

The trial continues.

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