Defence barrister tells Chapeltown Carnival murder trial jury that prosecution witness was responsible for carrying out fatal stabbing

A barrister representing a man accused of murdering his rival by stabbing him to death at a carnival told a jury that a prosecution witness was responsible for the killing.
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The claim was made by the lawyer representing Beni Nami, who is on trial accused of stabbing Tcherno Ly to death at Chapeltown Carnival on August 25 last year.

Mr Ly suffered a fatal stab wound to the chest during the incident on Chapeltown Road as the area was busy with people enjoying the annual event.

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Leeds Crown Court has heard how Mr Ly and Nami and fought with each other just over a fortnight before the incident.

Tcherno Ly suffered fatal stab wound to the chest on Chapeltown Road on August 25 last year.Tcherno Ly suffered fatal stab wound to the chest on Chapeltown Road on August 25 last year.
Tcherno Ly suffered fatal stab wound to the chest on Chapeltown Road on August 25 last year.

Nami, 20, and a second defendant, Hussein Semusu, 21, are both charged with murder and possession of an offensive weapon.

Both men deny the charges.

The prosecution claims Nami inflicted the fatal knife blow and that the killing was encouraged by his friend Semusu.

CCTV footage has been played to the court placing both defendants in the area at the time of the incident and quickly leaving a short time later.

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A knife was later found at Nami's home on Nassau Place, Chapeltown, which was found to contain Mr Ly's blood.

After the prosecution case was opened, Nami's barrister, Alistair Webster, QC, briefly addressed the jury.

Mr Webster said it is his client's defence that the person responsible for the fatal stabbing was another man, Teo Sisse Barros.

The lawyer said Mr Barros was with Mr Ly on the night he was killed and would be called as a prosecution witness in the case.

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Mr Webster said: "There should be no doubt what his (Nami's) defence is.

"Many months ago he served a defence statement saying what his defence is. It was served on the prosecution and on the court.

"His defence is one that in some ways is quite unusual because it is not very common that [a defendant] can say, 'Not only did I not do it but I can identify the actual killer'.

"That's the case in this case."

Mr Webster said his client had fallen in with 'the wrong crowd' after moving to the UK aged 19 and was 'used by Mr Barros in relation to the distribution of drugs and other crimes now known as modern slavery'.

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He said there is evidence to support claims of Mr Barros' involvement in county lines drug dealing.

Mr Webster said: "It was Mr Ly's knife. He says Mr Barros intervened and stabbed Mr Ly.

"[Nami] had been stabbed too so he ran off.

"He was later approached by another man who gave him the knife that must have been the one Mr Barros used and told him to hide it at his house."

Mr Webster told jurors there is evidence Mr Barros contacted Nami after the stabbing.

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He also asked jurors to 'keep an open mind' about CCTV evidence.

Mr Barros is the prosecution's first witness at the trial.

A video of his police interview was played to the jury yesterday afternoon (November 24)

Mr Barros is due to give his evidence before the jury this morning, the second day of the trial.

Semusu's barrister, Mark Fenhalls, QC, also addressed the jury.

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He told the panel of six men and six women: "The issue in Semusu's case is straight forward.

"He was in the wrong place at the wrong time and had nothing to do with any attack.

"He did not encourage anybody. He was not a part of it."

The trial is expected to last three weeks.