Lost antiques dealer was 'felled like a tree'

Thursday 26th June 2003

AN antiques dealer who got lost on the Tube was fatally attacked after getting out at Kentish Town station, an Old Bailey jury heard this week.

His head hit the road with a sickening thud that could be heard from yards away, even above the noise of traffic, said an eye-witness.

Thomas 'Tommy' Scott, 34, and his younger half-brother Nicholas, 28, had been enjoying "a night of celebration and drinking" when they were targeted by a gang of youths, said the prosecutor, Jeremy Benson.

They left Kentish Town Tube station at 12.45am after taking the wrong train on the Northern line, and were involved in "an argument and scuffle with two white men", said Mr Benson.

Moments later four youths decided to get involved, he said, and a "rolling fight" began as the brothers tried to escape.

The victim was felled like a tree by a punch as he tried to fend off his assailants at the corner of Leverton Place, the jury heard.

A schoolgirl, who cannot be named on the orders of Judge Martin Stephens, QC, said she and another girl had been drinking with the youths and witnessed a 17-year-old hit out at the victim. "He punched him in the head," she said in evidence given over a video link.

"The man spun round and then fell down like a tree being felled. He went straight to the ground and didn't move at all," he said.

"His head hit the ground so hard I heard it. I was about 20 metres away."

Mr Scott, from Newark, Notts, was left unconscious on the ground, bleeding profusely. He died in the Royal Free Hospital, Hampstead, two days later from a fractured skull without coming out of a coma. Surgeons pronounced him brain dead and his life support machine was switched off.

Before the court are student Mohamed Ahmed, 20, of Tottenhall, Ferdinand Street, Chalk Farm, two 16-year-olds and a 17-year-old, all from Kentish Town, who cannot be named for legal reasons. They all deny charges of murder and violent disorder.

The jury was shown a compilation video of CCTV footage taken from the time the brothers were the last passengers off the train on October 20 last year. They had been drinking heavily during the day to celebrate Nicholas Scott's birthday. They were making their way to his home in Hendon, but got on the wrong train.

Mr Benson told the court the brothers were attacked outside the Tube station.

Seconds earlier 'Tommy' Scott could be seen on CCTV "laughing, joking and dancing a little jig" as he made his way from the platform to street level.

As the words "fight, fight" were yelled when the brothers got into an argument with two men, the gang raced across the road to take part.

Mr Benson told the court the 17-year-old was wearing a knuckle-duster when he punched the victim "at least twice".

Others used a plastic bread crate as a weapon against the brothers and struck the dead man with it, the court heard.

Nicholas Scott, a graphic designer, told the jury he was left battered and in tears as the gang fled. "I shouted 'cowards' as they got away," he said.

The jury heard that within a couple of minutes the four jumped on a bus to escape, accompanied by two girls, and one shouted to a companion: "Oi, you killed him, you killed him."

A minicab passenger told the court he was in a car at traffic lights in Leighton Road when he saw people trading punches outside the Assembly House pub.

"Two white males were being chased by a group of about six younger males, who were black or of mixed race.

"From what I saw it looked like they were the aggressors," he told the court.

The jury heard Ahmed had drunk a bottle of brandy that evening.

He maintained when interviewed by detectives that he had seen each of the other accused kick or punch the victim and had tried to rescue him by pulling them off.

The other three accused refused to answer police questions on legal advice.

The 17-year-old, who was the first to be arrested, denied being anywhere near the scene of the attack. He maintained he was at a nightclub in Tottenham at the time.

The trial is expected to last another four weeks. Each accused has a leading QC Baroness Helena Kennedy, who lives in Belsize Park, John Turner, Orlando Pownall and John Benson.

Unusually in a murder case the defendants are not in the dock. They are seated behind their legal teams and have relatives to support them. All four are on bail and living at addresses outside London.

The judge, jury, barristers, defendants, police and court officials will travel to Kentish Town on Monday to view the area.

Source: Camden New Journal

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