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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 May 2006, 15:01 GMT 16:01 UK
Riot death a 'pointless killing'
Isaiah Young-Sam
The court heard Mr Young-Sam had taken a route away from the trouble
An IT worker was stabbed by a gang of youths in "a pointless killing" during riots in Birmingham, a court has heard.

Isaiah Young-Sam was trying to avoid the trouble in 2005 when he was attacked, Birmingham Crown Court heard.

Waqar Ahmed, 26, Azhil Khan, 23, and Afzal Khan, 22, from Handsworth, all deny murder and wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

The prosecution said the case was not linked to the rumours of an alleged rape which sparked the riots.

Adrian Redgrave QC, prosecuting, told the hearing on Wednesday it had been suggested a local West Indian girl had been raped by a gang of Asian men.

'Police presence'

But he said: "This case is to do with one specific attack during the course of rioting, rioting in which a group of Asian youths set upon four West Indian youths."

Mr Redgrave said 23-year-old Isaiah, his brother Zephania, and their friends Locksley and Andrew Byfield, had earlier that day attended a demonstration which had been organised following the rape rumours.

The four then decided to go to St George's Church where a public meeting was being held.

He said it was here they saw a "noticeable" police presence and people running about in Lozells Road.

That, we say, was a pointless and, in the context of what Isaiah was doing, a wicked killing of a total stranger to those involved in the attack
Adrian Redgrave QC, prosecutor

"Seeing that, they decided to return to their parents' home - the Young-Sam family home - to avoid any of this trouble," he said.

At nearly 1900 GMT on 22 October two or three cars pulled up ahead of Mr Young-Sam and his group as they walked in Carlyle Road, the jury heard on Wednesday.

Young Asian men, most wearing bandanas and hooded tops, got out of the cars and walked towards the group. They were shouting and a knife was visible, Mr Redgrave said.

Mr Young-Sam retaliated when he was punched but his group then ran and were followed by the Asian youths. Mr Byfield was stabbed in his backside as they ran.

'Flew to Islamabad'

"Isaiah was surrounded by a group of Asians...and when Zephania and the Byfield brothers saw the group had caught Isaiah...they stopped and ran back towards him, but by the time they got to him he had been stabbed in the heart," Mr Redgrave said.

"That, we say, was a pointless and, in the context of what Isaiah was doing, a wicked killing of a total stranger to those involved in the attack."

Mr Redgrave said he did not have proof about who held the knife.

Isaiah later died but Mr Byfield's injuries were not life-threatening.

The three defendants travelled to Huddersfield later that evening, the prosecutor said.

The next day they returned to Birmingham and bought one-way tickets to Islamabad. Two days later they flew out but were stopped in Dubai and returned to Britain where they were arrested.

The trial continues.


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