Byline: Rashid Razaq
A JUDGE appealed for calm today after eight men were cleared of murdering three friends who were hit by a car during last summer's riots.
Haroon Jahan, Shazad Ali and Abdul Musavir were said to have been protecting local businesses when they were murdered in the equivalent of a "chariot charge" involving three cars in Winson Green, Birmingham.
But Ryan Goodwin, Shaun Flynn, Juan Ruiz-Gaviria, Joshua Donald, Everton Graham, Adam King, Ian Beckford and Aaron Parkins were cleared of three counts of murder each by a jury at Birmingham crown court today after just over four hours of deliberations.
After the verdicts, judge Mr Justice Flaux urged people to respect the jury's findings. He said: "On any view, this has been a terrible case -- a tragic and pointless loss of three young lives.
"However, by their verdicts the jury have decided that this was not a deliberate killing, that there was no plan to kill these three young men. The jury have decided that this was a terrible accident."
The judge added: "It is important that however strong feelings are within the community in Winson Green and adjacent areas, that calm is maintained and that these verdicts are respected. …