Newham man on trial for murder of Harold Hill drug addict

Police and forensic team at the scene of the murder in Straight Road Harold Hill

Police and forensic team at the scene of the murder in Straight Road Harold Hill - Credit: Archant

A Newham man is one of four accused of murdering a drug addict at a block of flats in Harold Hill last year, a court heard.

Nathan Charles, 22, of Lowbrook Road, Ilford, told the Old Bailey yesterday, Monday, March 19, there was no money in killing someone, and it was “crazy” to think he would commit such a crime days after his release from jail.,

Charles denies any involvement with the death of Liam Harman, who was reportedly attacked by three men in a communal stairwell in Straight Road, Harold Hill on July 11, 2017.

Cedric Kyiago, 21, with addresses in Romford and Harold Hill, is also accused of Liam’s murder, along with Kamal Hamilton-Albert, 21, from Highfield Road in Woodford Green, and Gleneson Mark, 23 from Whitta Road, Manor Park.

They also deny the charge.

Seven days before Liam’s death, Charles was released from prison after being convicted of possession of cocaine and heroin.

After Liam was reportedly attacked, a number of calls were made between Charles and Kyiago, a local drug dealer known as Scales.

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Despite receiving and making multiple calls to Kyiago, Charles denied being in frequent contact with him.

Prosecutor Oliver Glasgow pointed out that the frequency of calls between a number held by Kyiago and Charles increased on July 16, a day after the Recorder reported that a man had been arrested for murder.

This man was later released from custody.

When asked about the 32 calls or attempted calls that were made on July 16, Charles said that they were not about drug dealing and he couldn’t remember exactly the content of the calls.

Martin Hicks, who is defending Charles, added: “We have to be careful with how we interpret some of this contact. Some may be voicemail, some may be attempts to get through, and some may be meaningful conversation.”

Charles told the court: “If I attacked someone with a knife, there would be evidence.

“Why would I, someone that just came out of jail - when I have no money, I have nothing - why would I kill someone and go back to jail and still have no money?

“Killing someone - there’s no money involved in that.

“The whole point of selling drugs is to make money.

“Killing someone, that makes no money. That makes no sense to me, that’s crazy.”

Mr Glasgow asked the defendant if this was just a story to fit the evidence.

“If I was going to harm someone and I stabbed him as many times as you lot say, there would have been some sort of DNA evidence,” said Charles.

“There’s no blood on my clothes. There’s no blood on the latex gloves.

“The facts and the evidence shows that.”

The trial continues.