East Midlands Men On Trial Over Businessman Murder

9 August 2016, 18:14 | Updated: 9 August 2016, 18:15

businessman Akhtar Javeed

A brave father-of-four was shot in the back of the neck at point-blank range by an East Midlands gang as he fled an armed robbery, a court has heard.

Fast food supply manager Akhtar Javeed was shot four times in both legs, his mouth and throat by an alleged killer who a murder jury has been told had fled to Pakistan.

The victim, a grandfather - known affectionately as Lala G or Big Brother by employees - was still bound at the wrists with the cable ties when the prosecution say he ``died where he lay, in a pool of blood''.

Two other men, Suraj Mistry and Lemar Wali, are on trial accused of murdering 56-year-old Javeed during the lethal raid on the Direct Source 3 premises in Birmingham on February 3.

Prosecutors have alleged Mistry, 26, was one of two gunmen armed with pistols, while 19-year-old Wali was a willing participant, sitting outside at the wheel of the getaway car.

The Crown's QC James Curtis told a Birmingham Crown Court jury it would watch CCTV footage of the raid unfold, showing two masked gunmen ``burst through the door, guns already in their hands''.

Both Mistry and Wali deny murder, conspiracy to rob the warehouse and two counts each of possession of a pistol with intent to cause fear or violence.

On the first day of their trial, Mr Curtis told the jury another man named as Tahir Zarif from Derby was accused of being the second gunman, who ``played a central role''.

Zarif, of Osmaston Park Road, Derby, is alleged to have pulled the trigger of his silenced semi-automatic pistol on Mr Javeed as he tried to escape.

The Crown has alleged the 25-year-old was driven by Mistry to Heathrow airport immediately after the shooting where he boarded a flight to Pakistan and ``presumably remains to this day''.

The men, using a plan of the warehouse drawn on the back of a water bill by an ``inside man'', carried out a reconnaissance of the premises and bought masks, gloves, cable ties, and pistols.

Opening the case, Mr Curtis said while Wali was in the getaway car, the gunmen went in at precisely 6.30pm when the warehouse usually closed to the public.

The prosecution barrister said: ``They took all the members of staff prisoner at gunpoint and bound their wrists to each other with plastic cable ties.

``They made them surrender their mobile phones.''

Mr Curtis added: ``One robber - it would appear to be Zarif - ordered the manager out into the corridor, no doubt to get him to take him to the safe, and open it at gunpoint.''

However, the ``terribly brave'' manager and business owner Mr Javeed decided to fight back.

Mr Curtis explained the jury would watch CCTV showing the struggle and the moments leading up the fatal shot

He said: ``They were clearly intending to get him to open the safe and open it for them on threat of death.

``And it is here that you yourselves will be eye-witnesses to much of what happened to him.

``Once in the corridor, it is clear he did a very brave thing and you see him struggle, and fight back against the two gunmen, trying to make for an exit.

``Immediately the first gunman started shooting.''

Mr Curtis said five shots were fired with three or four bullets hitting the victim, including strikes to both legs - possibly from a single round.

He added: ``Neither a Home Office pathologist nor a forensic science ballistics expert can tell you which of the next two came first. It doesn't matter.

``One shot went into the mouth and smashed his jaw - it lodged in the back of his jawbone.

``And then fatally he was shot straight in the middle of the neck, his throat, at point-blank range.

``That is murder, pure and clear.''

Mortally wounded, Mr Javeed managed to stumble outside where he collapsed on the pavement just yards from where Wali was waiting in the getaway car, the prosecution said.

There on the footpath Mr Javeed, from east London, ``died almost instantly from shock and from his airways being filled with blood.''

The prosecution QC said the killing weapon was a .25 calibre silenced pistol.

Mr Curtis added: ``What is worse is that the one gun fired was loaded with real, deadly ammunition, a fully operative, man-killing firearm with a silencer screwed into the barrel.''

Despite their ``careful planning'', the alleged robbers never reached the safe.

The group left empty-handed in the getaway car before switching to another vehicle parked nearby and dumping the guns in a nearby residential area.

Jurors were told they would see and hear evidence showing Wali driving from his home in Osmaston Park Road in Derby the next day, to recover the guns.

The court heard Mistry, of Laundon Way in Leicester, and Zarif owned a ran a bodyshop in Derby called ATS Detailing and Wrap, while Wali knew both men.

A fourth man and fellow ATS business partner Asif Aurangzaib, of Leacroft Road in Derby, was what the prosecution described as a back-up man, monitoring the raid from Derby.

He also denies conspiracy to rob the Birmingham warehouse.

Meanwhile, jurors have been told the ``inside man'' Sander van Aalten, 50, of Kyrwicks Lane, Birmingham, has already admitted conspiracy to rob the warehouse.

The trial continues.