Page last updated at 14:08 GMT, Monday, 21 September 2009 15:08 UK

Student died 'after race taunts'

Mohammed al-Majed
Mohammed suffered a serious head injury and died days later

A teenager died after suffering a head injury during a racially motivated attack in East Sussex, a jury heard.

Mohammed al-Majed, 16, died after the fracas in Hastings which started with racial taunts towards one of his friends, Lewes Crown Court was told.

George Austin, 22, of Barkworth Road, Bermondsey, south London, has denied the Qatari student's manslaughter.

Two other defendants have denied separate charges of attacking two of Mohammed's friends.

Prosecutor Camden Pratt QC said the events started after one of the defendants, Paul Rockett, and another youth, racially assaulted Mohammed's friend Peter Henworth because he was black.

'Shameful events'

He said: "They picked on him because of their presumption of his race and by reason of their prejudice.

"That's what kicked off and started the incident that night; that which led to the shameful events that followed."

The court was told Mr Rockett "took a swing" at 17-year-old Mr Henworth but missed, on 22 August.

Jurors were told that during the ensuing fracas, Arab student Mr Majed suffered a serious head injury when he hit the pavement. He died in hospital three days later.

Mr Majed was studying English at a language school in Hastings and had been staying with a family in the town for about five weeks before he died.

Bottle

He was due to have returned home to Qatar a week later.

Mr Rockett, 21, of Ham Lane, Burwash, near Etchingham, denies racially aggravated common assault.

Another defendant, Alexander Quinn, 19, of Mountbatten Close, Hastings, denies wounding with intent, and unlawful wounding.

He is accused of attacking another of Mr Majed's friends, 14-year-old Mojeb Qatani, with a bottle.

Jurors were told they must consider the charges against each defendant separately.

The case continues.



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