Warehouse worker ‘frightened for months’ after East Ham businessman’s death, court hears
- Credit: West Midlands Police
A warehouse worker has told a court of his terror at hearing gunshots as his boss was killed during an armed raid.
Anil Kumar told jurors he was even frightened in his own home for months after the death of father-of-four Akhtar Javeed, of Central Park Road, East Ham.
A jury at Birmingham Crown Court has been shown CCTV footage of Mr Kumar being confronted by two hooded gunmen shortly before Mr Javeed, 56, was shot at his fast food supply firm.
The trial of alleged gunman Suraj Mistry, and Lemar Wali, who is accused of driving a getaway vehicle, heard several members of staff, including Mr Javeed, had their hands bound with cable ties.
Giving evidence on the fourth day of the trial, Mr Kumar told jurors he was sitting at a table in a meeting room when two gunmen entered the warehouse in Rea Street South, Digbeth, Birmingham, at about 6.30pm on February 3.
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Mr Kumar, who was assisted by a Hindi interpreter, told the court: “We saw a car coming into the warehouse car park.
“In a few seconds two people came in and showed me a gun.
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“At first we thought somebody was making fun of us and they showed it to us again and at that time we just raised our hands.
“I was frightened and after that I was frightened for months, even when in the house I was scared.”
The warehouse assistant, who was ordered to kneel in an adjoining office and then tied to fellow members of staff, said the guns being wielded by the men appeared to be fitted with silencers.
Mr Javeed was taken out of the room with his wrists tied together, Mr Kumar said.
“After a few seconds we heard a gunshot,” Mr Kumar added, saying that he was “absolutely sure” he heard two shots and possibly a third being fired.
Both gunmen then left in a Renault Megane, leaving staff tied up.
Mr Kumar told the jury of six men and six women: “All three of us - because we were tied together - we were struggling to get ourselves free. Then I think somebody got a kitchen knife and cut the ties.”
The Crown alleges that the two men filmed entering the premises armed with handguns were Mistry and Tahir Zarif.
Mistry, 26, and 19-year-old Wali, who is accused of driving the Megane to and from the robbery, are on trial accused of murder.
Both Mistry, of Laundon Way in Leicester, and Wali, of Osmaston Park Road, Derby, deny murder, conspiracy to rob the warehouse and two counts each of possession of a pistol with intent to cause fear or violence.
Zarif, 25, also of Osmaston Park Road, is believed to be in Pakistan after leaving Britain following the robbery, the court has heard.
The trial continues.