Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

'The First Thing He Says Is: I Killed a Man with a Knife' Chef Denies Murder in Kitchen

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

'The First Thing He Says Is: I Killed a Man with a Knife' Chef Denies Murder in Kitchen

Article excerpt

Byline: MIKE BROWN mike.brown@trinitymirror.com @MIKEBROWNGAZ

THE dramatic moment a man was stabbed in the kitchen of Middlesbrough's Manjaros restaurant has been played to a jury.

Mazhar Ali, 41, died on Christmas Eve after the stabbing at the popular Linthorpe Road eatery.

Kitchen worker Efreeqi Mohamed Siddig, 21, denies his murder.

On the first day of a trial at Teesside Crown Court, prosecutor Gordon Cole QC showed the jury CCTV footage from inside the restaurant's kitchen - which he says shows Siddig lunge at Mr Ali with a large kitchen knife, and stab him once to the chest.

The incident came the day after CCTV footage captured Mazhar Ali assaulting Siddig in the restaurant - punching, kicking and headbutting him - after a disagreement about a chicken delivery, the jury heard.

Mr Cole described the movements of Siddig in the minutes leading up to the stabbing in great detail, and said CCTV from December 24 last year shows Siddig checking the whereabouts of Mazhar Ali a number of times.

The court heard Mr Ali delivered chicken to the Middlesbrough restaurant, and was business partner with his friend and one of its owners, Rafiq Ali, in the Manjaros restaurant in Leeds.

Mr Cole told the jury: "This defendant was looking to see if he could see Mazhar Ali, to see if (his) van had parked up. It is clear this defendant was looking and waiting for an opportunity to use the knife."

Footage shows Mazhar Ali stumble back and fall to the floor.

Mr Cole said the CCTV clip showed Siddig attempt to stab Mr Ali again, before he is stopped by other members of staff.

The court heard that Siddig made two calls to police on the 101 number after the stabbing.

Mr Cole said: "The first thing he says is 'I killed a man with a knife in Manjaros.'" ."

Rafiq Ali rushed Mazhar Ali, who lived in Stockton, to James Cook University Hospital where he later died. …

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