WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT. The jury heard the victim being kicked and kicked, a broomstick shoved down his throat, bleach poured over him and fire extinguishers discharged into his body
A player rammed a broomstick down the throat of a chauffeur at an arcade and fired fire extinguishers at him, a court has been told.
Abel Berhany kicked, stomped and jumped 99 times on Abraham Haile at City Slots on Camden High Road, north-west London, the judges were told.
The 23-year-old also fired two fire extinguishers “at Mr. Haile” before stopping to smoke a cigarette and then continued the horrific attack, pouring bleach and spraying an aerosol over the 56-year-old victim’s body.
The jury heard that Berhany, originally from Ethiopia, may have suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder after being tortured in Libya.
Mr Haile worked as a chauffeur and was a regular at City Slots at the time, the Old Bailey heard.
Prosecutor Danny Robinson, QC, said Berhany went out to dinner with friends at Finsbury Park before leaving for Camden on July 28, 2020.
He entered the arcade just before 10 p.m. and passed through the open-air smoking area where Mr. Haile was, the court heard.
After four minutes, an argument broke out between Berhany and Mr. Haile, who were complete strangers.
CCTV caught Mr Haile slapping Berhany “once in the face” before they walked into the main area of the arcade.
“Mr. Berhany continued to behave aggressively towards Mr. Haile,” said Mr. Robinson.
“He knocked the phone out of Mr. Haile’s hand and a few minutes later he kicked Mr. Haile’s legs, knocking him to the ground and started kicking him in the head.
“After falling to the ground, Mr. Haile could not get back on his feet. He was completely defenseless.”
The arcade manager ushered the remaining customers out before locking the front door and calling the police, jurors heard.
“During the 16 minutes they were alone at City Slots, Mr. Berhany kicked, stamped or jumped on Mr. Haile’s head or torso 99 times.
“He used a pen to draw or scratch Mr. Haile’s neck, and he poured bleach and sprayed an aerosol he found in a supply closet over Mr. Haile’s body.
“He hit Mr. Haile on the head fifty times with two fire extinguishers and shot both fire extinguishers over and into Mr. Haile.”
Berhany is said to have stopped for a cigarette in the middle of his attack.
“After he finished his cigarette, he started hitting Mr Haile again with a fire extinguisher before finding a plastic broom in the smoking area,” Mr Robinson continued.
“He removed the broom’s head and rammed the handle into Mr. Haile’s mouth.
“He used a fire extinguisher to continue pounding the broomstick down Mr. Haile’s throat.”
The violence continued for another eight minutes before police arrived, the court heard.
“When they tried to get in, Mr. Berhany was still hitting Mr. Haile in the head with a fire extinguisher,” the prosecutor said.
Berhany was arrested and rescue workers tried to help Mr Haile, who was “probably dead” when they got to him.
An autopsy performed on July 30 found the cause of death to be blunt force trauma to the head.
During the examination, a 14.5 cm broken piece of broom handle was found in Mr. Haile’s neck.
The jury continued to listen as Berhany was taken to Holborn Police Station and examined by doctors and mental health professionals.
Analysis of his blood showed no trace of commonly used drugs or alcohol.
He was deemed fit for detention and interrogation and free from acute mental illness.
However, experts believed Berhany may be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, having previously been tortured in Libya, the court heard.
Mr Robinson said Berhany arrived in the UK in 2015 and told authorities he was 15 and from Ethiopia.
“He had traveled from Ethiopia to Sudan with his family.
“When he was about 14, they left Sudan and traveled to Libya, where he was imprisoned.
“During his time in Libya he was tortured.
“He said he was beaten, burned with cigarettes and given electric shocks.
“After his release he traveled alone to Italy and then made his way to the UK.”
The prosecutor said Berhany was initially placed in the care of Kent County Council and was given a temporary residency permit until May this year.
He denies attacking Mr. Haile and therefore denies causing his death.
“We’re saying all you have to do is look at the CCTV to be sure he did it,” prosecutor Robinson said.
Berhany also claims he has diminished responsibility.
The prosecutor told the jury: “If you are certain that he murdered Mr Haile, Mr Berhany says his criminal liability should be reduced to manslaughter because of his diminished responsibility at the time of the offence.”
Berhany, from Leyton, east London, denies murder.
The process goes on.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/murder-accused-rammed-broom-handle-27167634 Murder accused 'broomstick rammed into chauffeur's throat in brutal arcade attack'