UK & World News
CCTV Of Birmingham Riot Killings Shocks Court
Eight men have gone on trial accused of murdering three people during the August riots in Birmingham.
The court has been shown CCTV of Haroon Jahan, 20 and brothers Shazad Ali, 30 and Abdul Musavir, 31 bring struck by a car on Dudley Road in Winson Green in the early hours of Wednesday, August 10.
As the footage was played there were gasps in the court and sobs from the public gallery. A disturbance broke out in the public gallery causing a break in proceedings.
The jury had been warned by the prosecution that the three men were killed in "shocking circumstances" and were told to prepare themselves to be shocked by the CCTV.
The jury was told the eight defendants had been in three cars.
Adam King, Ryan Goodwin, Juan Ruiz-Gavira and Shaun Flynn are alleged to have been travelling together in a black Audi A3. Joshua Donald and Aaron Parkins were allegedly in a second car, a black five-door Fiesta.
The prosecution says the third car - the car seen in the CCTV to hit the victims - was a black Mazda being driven by Ian Beckford with Everton Graham in the passenger seat.
Tim Spencer QC told the jury the driving "was not accidental. It was deliberate and co-ordinated. It was the modern day equivalent of a chariot charge. And it was deadly."
The jury was told the Mazda was later found burnt out.
Mr Spencer told the court that at the time of the deaths there was widespread breakdown of order, emergency services were "overstretched" and there was "a lot of looting of businesses".
The jury was shown CCTV footage of the looting at a petrol station the night before the men were killed.
Mr Spencer said that the following day "members of the community decided they had to take further action to protect their property from looting".
He described how from 9.30pm a group of Asian men began to gather armed with sticks and batons.
He told the jury "perfectly legitimate questions can be asked about whether their actions were lawful." But he added "their activities have to be seen in the context of a breakdown in public order".
As the tension grew someone in the Mazda shouted a racist slur at the Asian group and said "we're coming back for you", Mr Spencer told the court.
"All of the men in the dock must have been aware of that backdrop. The backdrop that was the reality in that part of Birmingham."
Haroon Jahan's father Tariq was hailed as a hero when he appealed for calm in the wake of his son's death. He is credited with preventing further violence from breaking out.
The eight defendants all deny three counts of murder. The trial continues at Birmingham Crown Court.