AD trial: Neighbour’s ‘help’ claim is challenged

Image copyright PA Image caption Mr Arbery died on 26 January, 2017, after being shot outside his home in South Liverpool The trial of the man charged with murdering rapper Ahmaud Arbery at his…

AD trial: Neighbour's 'help' claim is challenged

Image copyright PA Image caption Mr Arbery died on 26 January, 2017, after being shot outside his home in South Liverpool

The trial of the man charged with murdering rapper Ahmaud Arbery at his home in South Liverpool has heard conflicting accounts of the fatal shooting in closing arguments.

The rapper, known as AD, was shot in the chest outside his home on 26 January, 2017.

His cousin, Luctu Mulbah, denies a charge of assisting an offender.

The jury heard a jury was shown CCTV footage of a silver Vauxhall Vectra in which its lights were shut off during the attack.

The trial, which began in April, heard the 24-year-old musician, AKA AD, was shot as he waited for his girlfriend outside his flat.

The 33-year-old uncle of two young children from Lime Street, Southport, denies the offence and said he was hanging outside the building in Ainsdale Avenue to see what had happened when he was shot.

The defence applied for some of his statements taken by police to be removed from the public domain because the offence for which he is on trial is an alleged breach of a knife ban.

In his closing speech, Merseyside Police’s barrister, David Joyal QC, described how Mr Mulbah had been subjected to sustained verbal abuse and threats outside his home before hearing gunshots.

He said that at the time Mr Mulbah was forced to do nothing other than run to a car and get inside – and that he did nothing more than that.

Mr Joyal said: “He did the next thing he could to help a friend who was shot and who was dying.”

Referring to a witness who claimed he saw the Vectra drive off, Mr Joyal said: “He is a witness who lied several times about Mr Mulbah’s role in the shooting.”

Luctu Mulbah’s QC, David Gow, QC, told the jury he was his client’s best friend and had helped him in the aftermath of the shooting.

He said Mr Mulbah had run towards the shooting scene and had “radically scaled the police” in a bid to see his cousin.

The QC said one police officer had described Mr Mulbah as “impotent”.

He said police officers “stumped” by their failure to find any way in to the Volkswagen Golf prior to the shooting “have now manipulated footage”, and the prosecution had no evidence to show the witness was lying.

He said that according to police reports Mr Mulbah had stopped on the way to see his cousin and denied that he was telling lies.

The lawyer told the jury there was an agreement between police officers and one witness to support a prosecution case without requiring Mr Mulbah to give evidence.

He said: “That is not for him to say yes or no, it is for him to say please help us in pursuing this case.”

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