The Old Bailey February 2014 - March 2014

At 2pm on Tuesday 6th August 2013 Alexander Henry and three friends (Younis Tayyib, Janhelle Grant-Murray and Cameron Ferguson) were shopping in Ealing Broadway. After about an hour Younis left the group to meet another friend locally, he agreed to meet the others at his address shortly once they had finished shopping; his address was situated a few minutes from the centre.

 

After a few minutes of Younis leaving the group, Janhelle had also became bored with shopping and began walking back to Younis’ address, with the intention of waiting for the others outside. However, while walking down Northcote Avenue Janhelle was confronted by a group of four older men (Bourhane Khezihi, Taqui Khezihi, Dapo Tajani and Leon Thompson). The groups were strangers to each other.

 

Janhelle had noticed the group of four older men hanging out around a parked car drinking refreshments. Taqui and Janhelle made eye contact with each other and words to the effect of “What are you looking at” were exchanged between the pair. At this point Taqui approached Janhelle, joined by Bourhane who began aggressively confronting Janhelle.

 

Not wanting to engage in violence and feeling fearful of an attack from the brothers, Janhelle turned around and headed back towards the Uxbridge Rd. During the short walk back to the Uxbridge Rd, Janhelle noticed he was being followed by the Brothers who had now broken into a run chasing him towards the junction of Northcote Rd and the Uxbridge Rd. Janhelle ran towards the local Costcutters bypassing Younis who had just arrived at the scene. Janhelle shouted back at Younis that “these guys are trying to bang me in my face”. Janhelle, fearing for his safety entered the Costcutters retrieving a bottle of wine without paying and then returning back into Northcote Avenue where Younis was trying to calm the two brothers.

 

Janhelle approached the group with the bottle held firmly down by his side. Upon seeing the bottle Bourhane removed his belt to use the metal buckle as a knuckle duster. Younis who recognised the brothers as being local to the area, stood in between the brothers and Janhelle separating them at an arm’s length to prevent any violence. Younis pleaded with the brothers to leave the argument and stop the hostility. Younis asked Janhelle to go back to Costcutters and give the bottle of wine back which Janhelle agreed to do. Janhelle turned his back on the brothers and began walking back to the Costcutters, however the brothers seeing Janhelle with his guard down and back turned, attempted to run around Younis in an attempt to instigate an attack. Janhelle turned around and seeing the looming attack turned fully around and said words to the effect of “if you come close I’ll hit you with it” to which Bourhane replied “watch what happens when you drop that bottle”.

 

The standoff continued for over 10 minutes in which Janhelle attempted to retreat a further time but the brothers were intent in continuing the escalating aggression. The other two men (Dapo Tajani and Leon Thompson) drove up in their car and asked the Khezihi brothers to get in and leave the argument, however the brothers refused to get in the car. Dapo drove the car out of Northcote Avenue and into the adjacent Hamilton Rd to park the car again before returning to Northcote Rd on foot to take the brothers back to the car. At this point Janhelle takes his mobile phone out of his pocket and attempts to call Cameron Ferguson, however no calls connect.

 

Both groups continued arguing and crossed the Uxbridge Rd into Hamilton Rd. Meanwhile Alex Henry and Cameron Ferguson had finished shopping and were making their way up the Uxbridge Rd to Northcote Avenue (Younis' address) where they had all planned to meet. Alex first realised Janhelle was in an altercation when he saw Janhelle with a wine bottle in his hand, surrounded by an unfamiliar group of men, including Bourhane with a belt around his knuckles.

 

Alex ran to Janhelle's defence with Cameron running roughly 3 metres behind him. Alex was confused and didn’t recognise the older men who were circling Janhelle. As he arrived at the scene, he ran past Dapo who grabbed him by the arm to stop him approaching Janhelle. Dapo was not violent and released him and so Alex went to Janhelle’s side.  Alex stood behind Janhelle who was pacing back and forth with Taqui. He noticed Janhelle had dropped his mobile phone so he picked it up and held it in his hands. At this moment Dapo pulled the bottle out of Janhelle’s hands and seeing that Janhelle was now unarmed, Taqui lunged towards him. Alex, seeing the imminent attack on Janhelle threw the mobile phone at Taqui which he believes struck Taqui on the top of his head. Taqui began punching Janhelle repeatedly, with Bourhane joining in, punching Janhelle once. Younis, witnessing the attack upon Janhelle, quickly intervenes to restrain Bourhane by putting him in a headlock. Alex after throwing the phone felt unable to defend Janhelle further as Taqui’s attack had forced Janhelle down and backing Alex tightly against the wall. Alex had to pull out of the affray and jog two meters further into Hamilton Rd before turning around to re-approach Janhelle in an attempt to help him.

 

However by the time Alex had turned around Younis’ mum was now on the scene shouting for everyone to stop. Alex saw the attack on Janhelle had come to an end and as Janhelle was now standing, Alex attempted to walk back through the affray to get back to the Uxbridge Rd. At this point Younis suddenly releases Bourhane from the headlock who in an attempt to run to his brother (standing in a group behind Alex), runs straight towards Alex. Alex mistook this for an attempt at further violence towards him so punched Bourhane to his left eye. Bourhane then chases Alex towards the junction of the Uxbridge Rd where Alex makes his escape with Janhelle leaving Bourhane to return to Taqui. Younis left the scene walking home with his mother.

 

The violence lasted under 47 seconds. In that 47 seconds Cameron had put his hand inside his JD sports bag and held a knife. He never took the knife out of the bag and it was concealed at all times. He used the knife to stab both Taqui and Bourhane before fleeing the scene alone. No one present during the fight, including Bourhane himself, had realised there had been a stabbing. Bourhane and Taqui had remained upright and active until the defendants had left. Alex, Janhelle and Younis had left the scene before Dapo informed Bourhane that it looked like he had a scratch on his back. Taqui later died of his injuries.

 

After the affray Alex and Janhelle walked back through Ealing Broadway shopping centre towards the local park (Walpole). Younis had gone home with his mother to make sure she was ok before joining Alex and Janhelle at Walpole Park. All three boys did not know where Cameron had gone or why he had deserted them during the fight. Janhelle felt aggrieved that he was attacked and felt he wasn’t adequately defended by his friends.  He was also disappointed that Alex had lost his mobile phone by throwing it at Taqui.

 

After spending some time in the park and not being able to get into contact with Cameron, all three got into a taxi which took them to the local youth club at Copley Close which is local to the homes of Alex Henry and Janhelle Grant-Murray. Upon arrival they saw Cameron with another group of mutual friends. Janhelle still feeling aggrieved began to accuse Cameron of running away and not defending him adequately. Cameron replied “I poked them” meaning I stabbed them.

 

In March 2014 Alex Henry, Janhelle Grant-Murray and Cameron Ferguson were all convicted of murder under the doctrine of joint enterprise. Younis Tayyib was acquitted due to his constant attempts to prevent the violence.

 

Alex could not have prevented the violence as it erupted within seconds of him arriving at the scene, instigated by Taqui.

The Jury believed that Alex and Janhelle both knew that Cameron had a knife and therefore foresaw the possibility that that knife might be used. This was not direct evidence based but inferences were drawn from the 6 month friendship in which the prosecution argued to the Jury that ''friends tell each other everything''. The jury also held that Alex’s presence at the scene and the throwing of the phone amounted to intentional encouragement of the stabbing.

 

The judge directed that Alex's punch to Bourhane could not amount to participation as It would have occurred after the stabbing was inflicted by Cameron at which point both Bourhane and Alex were unaware a stabbing had taken place.

 

Alex Henry and Janhelle Grant-Murray are innocent. They did not know a knife was present during this spontaneous affray, amongst strangers, which lasted under 47 seconds. Their actions during the affray were solely to prevent violence, protect themselves and protect each other.

 

Once convicted for Joint Enterprise Murder a secondary offender must serve a mandatory life sentence regardless of his level of participation. The whole sentence must be served without early parole.