Four deny murdering drug dealer who was shot in the head with sawn-off shotgun in Hartlepool
A drug dealer was lured to a derelict house and blasted in the head at point-blank range with a sawn-off shotgun, a murder trial has been told.
Kurdistan-born British citizen Hamawand Ali Hussain, 30, died instantly at the terraced house in Charterhouse Street, Hartlepool, on September 14 last year, Teesside Crown Court heard.
Francis FitzGibbon QC, prosecuting, told the court the killers were a group of Albanian drug dealers who Mr Hussain had arrived to meet with around £1,000 in his pocket.
Members of the group were seen on CCTV buying an axe, blades, gaffer tape, cable ties and nylon rope days before the meeting, but they were not used as Mr Hussain was shot soon after he arrived at the house, Mr FitzGibbon said.
A man living close to the murder scene was hard of hearing, the prosecution said, but recalled his parrot was startled by a loud noise, which jurors were told could have been sound of the shotgun blast.
Opening the trial, which could take more than six weeks, Mr FitzGibbon said: "Just after 6pm on September 14 2019, in the front room of an empty house in Hartlepool, a man named Hamawand Hussain was shot in the head at point-blank range with a sawn-off shotgun.
"He died instantly as you would expect.
"Mr Hussain was a drug dealer. He went to 25 Charterhouse Street in Hartlepool for a meeting with other drug dealers, or so he thought. In fact, they lured him there to kill him."
The prosecution said there was no clear motive for the murder, but police believed the cannabis farmer made enemies of a group of Albanian drug dealers who decided "to take him out".
Four men are on trial and deny murder, and at least four more suspects have evaded arrest, Mr FitzGibbon said.
The defendants are Noza Saffari, 39, of Park Lane, Middlesbrough, who is Iranian of Kurdish origin; and Albanians Anxhelo Xhaferi, 24, of Acton Street, Middlesbrough; Dorian Pirija, 33, of Trillo Avenue, Bolton; and Qazim Marku, 24, of Maxwell Road, West Drayton, London.
Closing the prosecution case, Mr FitzGibbon said: “We cannot say which of the men in Charterhouse Street pulled the trigger and shot Mr Hussain but we allege each of these defendants took an active part in the murder, playing different roles and each as guilty as the shooter himself.”
The trial continues.