Hartlepool shotgun murder accused ‘looked up one-way flights abroad days after killing'

A phone alleged to belong to a man accused of taking part in a brutal Hartlepool murder was used to look up flights out of the country just days after the killing, a trial heard.

Wednesday, 3rd February 2021, 5:25 pm

The mobile phone attributed to Greek-Albanian man Anxhelo Xhaferi, 24, researched flights to Greece on September 17 in 2019.

Three days earlier, Kurdistan-born British citizen Hamawand Ali Hussain, 30, was killed at a terraced house in Charterhouse Street, Hartlepool, on September 14 in 2019, Teesside Crown Court has heard.

Prosecutors claim Mr Hamawand was lured to the house and shot at point-blank range with a sawn-off shotgun and may also have been struck with an axe by an gang of alleged Albanian drug dealers.

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The scene in Charterhouse Street, Hartlepool. Picture by FRANK REID

Xhaferi is one of four men accused of taking part in the murder. Several other Albanian men, who have not been traced, are also believed to have been involved.

On Wednesday, February 3, Detective Constable Richard Brocklesby told the trial he had reviewed internet searches downloaded from a phone seized from Xhaferi.

Francis FitzGibbon QC, prosecuting, asked DC Brocklesby: “What if anything were you able to make of these entries from the phone download?”

DC Brocklesby said: “That the user of the device at that time was researching flights, one-way flights, to Greece.”

The officer said the flight in question was scheduled for October 12, 2019.

Nicholas Lumley QC, defending Xhaferi, pointed out that September 17 was the only time that such a search was made on the phone between September 1 and 18.

The court heard Xhaferi is a Greek passport holder and DC Brocklesby said he was not aware if the flight had actually been booked.

He also accepted it was not possible to say who was actually using the phone when the search was made.

Among a number of facts not disputed in the case, the jury were told that two of Xhaferi’s fingerprints were found on a black bag recovered from the house in Charterhouse Street after the murder.

Xhaferi, of Acton Street, Middlesbrough, and the other defendants Noza Saffari, 39, of Park Lane, Middlesbrough; Dorian Pirija, 33, of Trillo Avenue, Bolton; and Qazim Marku, 24, of Maxwell Road, West Drayton, London, all deny murder.

The trial continues.

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