Hartlepool shotgun murder drawing to a close after two months as judge starts summing up
A judge has begun his summing up in a murder trial for an alleged drug dealer blasted with a shotgun at a house in Hartlepool.
Four men have been standing trial at Teesside Crown Court for the last two months for the murder of Hamawand Ali Hussain who was shot and killed at an empty house in Charterhouse Street in September 2019.
A gang of Albanian drug dealers are said to have been involved following a dispute with Mr Hussain, 30, who is said to have been involved in local cannabis farms.
Mr Justice Wall started his summing up of the case to the jury on Tuesday, March 16, and they are due to retire to consider their verdicts later this week.
He said: “This is a circumstantial evidence case. The prosecution have not been able to call an eye witness to the crime being committed.
"The prosecution seek to prove their case by drawing your attention to a number of pieces of evidence which they submit taken together lead you inevitably to the conclusion that the defendants are guilty.”
But Mr Justice Wall added: “Circumstantial evidence can be compelling but you must approach it with care.
"If you conclude that in each particular defendants’ case there might be some other explanation for the circumstances established by the evidence the prosecution would not have proved guilt in that man’s case.”
The prosecution allege Noza Saffari, Qazim Marku, and Dorian Pirija all attended a ‘planning meeting’ for the murder in Bolton on September 5.
It also claims Marku and Anxhelo Xaferi attended the house in Charterhouse Street on September 12 to assess its suitability for the murder.
Xaferi, 24, of Acton Street, Middlesbrough, is said to have helped buy items including cable ties, blades and an axe shortly before the killing.
He said they were for use in growing cannabis. He said he was not in Hartlepool on the day of the murder.
Saffari, 39, of Park Lane, Middlesbrough, said he was a simply a handyman, while Pirija, 33, of Trillo Avenue, Bolton, said he had no idea Mr Hussain had been killed.
Marku, 24, of Maxwell Road, West Drayton, London, said he was in another room when Mr Hussain was killed and was not part of any plan to kill him.
The trial continues.