A man who denies being involved in the knife murder of a young welder claimed he found out about the killing on Facebook.
Nadeem Rashid, 21, said he wasn’t aware of any plan to “get Josh Hirst” and only realised something was wrong when co-accused Aaron Smith returned to his car covered in blood and heard that “some guy” had been stabbed by his friend Joe Church.
The prosecution claim the three men had hunted for and were following 20-year-old Josh Hirst, who was stabbed to death just yards from his home in Mirfield last August.
It is alleged Rashid, of Lapwing View, Horbury, was the “getaway driver” who had been recruited to drive two men to the scene of an assault and away from it.
But the car fan said he’d been cruising around Mirfield and Dewsbury with Church and Smith when the latter tapped him on the shoulder and told him to pull in.
He told Leeds Crown Court yesterday (Monday): “Aaron got out of the car very quickly, like he was in a rush.”
Rashid asked Church what was happening but he said he didn’t know. Church got out of the car and told Rashid to wait there for two minutes before following Smith up Hepworth Lane, Mirfield.
He said at this point he had no knowledge of Mr Hirst or any issues Church or Smith might have with him.
They came back three or four minutes later. Rashid said: “I noticed Aaron was covered in blood and he was holding his nose. I said to him, ‘What the heck has happened?’ He didn’t say owt. By that time Joe had got into the car. Joe said Aaron was fighting with some guy and some guy was slashed on the back.”
Church told Rashid to drive and during the journey Church said he thought had cut the man on the back. Later he told Rashid he didn’t want to get him involved and urged him to get rid of his car and his phones, which he did.
Rashid said the day after the incident he was looking on Facebook and came across a post called ‘RIP Josh’. Rashid told the court: “It said some lads had killed a lad in Hepworth Lane. I knew straight away what it was when I saw this woman’s message saying some lads had killed a lad in Hepworth Lane.”
He said he was scared and didn’t know what to do.
But prosecutor Neil Davey QC said: “You, I suggest, had been recruited as a getaway driver, hadn’t you?
“Somebody who could be trusted to drive two men to the scene of an assault and drive them away. Somebody who could be trusted not to bail out when he found out what was going on and had to know from the start what was going on.”
Rashid denied the claims.
The court was not due to sit today and the case is expected to resume on Thursday.
Church, 21, of Redlands Close, Mirfield; Smith, 19, of Saville Street, Emley, and Rashid, all deny murder and possessing an offensive weapon.
The case continues. Keeping checking this website for updates.
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Weather for Wakefield
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 10 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 10 C to 18 C
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