Moroccan asylum seeker knifed pensioner to death out of ‘revenge’ for Gaza, court hears

Housemates of attacker said he paid particular attention to news coverage of the war


Ahmed Ali Alid after his arrest. (Image: Counter Terrorism Policing North East)

A Moroccan asylum seeker told police he knifed a pensioner to death in the street and stabbed a Christian convert out of “revenge” for Israel killing children in the Palestinian conflict, a court heard.

Ahmed Alid’s actions, the week after the Hamas attacks, were motivated by “the conflict in Gaza and to further his desire that Palestine would be free from the Zionists”, Teesside Crown Court was told.

He denies murdering Terence Carney, 70, in Hartlepool town centre, as well as the attempted murder of his housemate Javed Nouri, 31, and assaulting two female police officers who had interviewed him after his arrest.

Jonathan Sandiford KC, prosecuting, said Alid armed himself with two knives in the early hours of October 15 when he attacked Nouri, who was asleep, at their shared house in Wharton Terrace, Hartlepool.

Alid shouted “Allahu Akbar”, meaning “God is great”, as he stabbed sleeping Nouri in the chest, before he went on to fatally stab Carney, who was out walking in the town centre.

He had initially thought Nouri was a Muslim, but was angered when he realised he was attending church and had converted to Christianity.

Nouri and two other housemates, also asylum seekers, formed the view that Alid followed an extreme version of Islam, the court heard.

Nouri complained to housing bosses and the police about Alid, but days before the attack, an officer told him no offence had been committed.

Sandiford said: “There is evidence that the defendant had several motives for attacking Nouri, one of which was also the reason why he killed Carney.

“First, there was some friction between the defendant and Nouri from living in the shared house.

“In particular, Nouri had reported the defendant to the police and those responsible for managing their accommodation.

“Second, Nouri was a Muslim who had converted to Christianity, and the defendant would therefore have regarded him as an apostate or ‘murtad’.

“Third, when the defendant was interviewed by the police, he initially thought that he had killed both Nouri and Carney.

“He said he had wanted to kill them because of the conflict in Gaza and to further his desire that Palestine would be free from the Zionists, by which he meant Israel.

“The defendant said he would have killed more people if he had been able to do so.”

Housemates noticed Alid was paying particular attention to news coverage of the Hamas attacks on October 7 and had begun to carry a knife, the jury heard.

At 5am on October 13, he broke into his housemate’s bedroom armed with two knives.

The jury heard a 999 call made by a housemate in which shouts of “Allahu Akbar” could be heard.

Alid stabbed him in the upper chest, near his heart, causing Nouri to scream “What are you doing?”, the court heard.

He sustained further injuries to the mouth, thigh and calf while fighting him off, and one of the attacker’s knives snapped.

Nouri, who was bigger and stronger than Alid, survived and the defendant fled.

Alid’s path then crossed with Carney and CCTV images showed him repeatedly stab the pensioner in Tees Street at around 5.30am.

Footage from a doorbell camera was played in court, during which the victim was heard to cry out “no, no”.

He was able to get to his feet but collapsed and died nearby, having been stabbed six times in the chest, abdomen and back.

Alid left Carney for dead and was arrested nearby with a bloody knife in his waistband.

In custody at Middlesbrough police station, Alid was recorded speaking in Arabic, saying “Allah willing, Gaza would return to be an Arab country”.

Sandiford said he went on “to praise Allah and spoke of him being displeased with those who went astray”, of Palestine, and “that the Jews had divided the Arabs”.

Alid said that if he had not injured his hands “he would have continued what he referred to as ‘the raid’”, Sandiford said.

The prosecution added: “The defendant spoke of returning with the army of Muhammed with the non-believers having to pay tax to the Muslims and be humbled.”

In his police interview, Alid admitted being responsible for the attempted murder of Nouri and the murder of Carney and expressed the belief both were dead, the prosecution said.

Sandiford said: “When asked to explain what had happened, he replied the whole issue was for the independence of Palestine, and that to have two dead victims was better than more because ‘we’ want the brutal Israeli colonizer to depart Palestine.

“He said he had killed two adults because Israel had killed innocent children – in other words he said he had committed the attempted murder of Javed Nouri and the murder of Carney in revenge for what he believed to be the killing of children by Israel.

“He swore by Allah that, if he had had a machine gun, and more weapons, he would have killed more victims.”

Sandiford said Alid described Carney as an “innocent victim, killed because Britain had created the Zionist entity – Israel – and should make it leave”.

Alid told police: “They killed children and I killed an old man.”

Sandiford said: “The defendant swore by Allah that if the colonisation (by which he appeared to mean Israel) did not leave, Britain was on the verge of an explosion and there would be more victims.

“The defendant swore by the greatness of Allah that Britain would be a wreck.

“The interview concluded with the defendant swearing by Allah that he was ready for Shahada – martyrdom.”

Alid, interviewed by DC Angela Harvey and DC Emma Stevenson, then became “agitated” towards his interpreter, Sandiford said.

He blocked the door and DC Stevenson pressed a panic button and his solicitor called 999 from inside the interview room.

Alid lunged at DC Harvey and grabbed her so DC Stevenson leapt to assist and all three fell to the floor, allowing officers to gain entry to the room and Alid was restrained.

After he was charged, he replied that “the Zionists have killed lots of women, children and innocent people, far more than him, and he had killed one person”.

Justice Cheeba-Grubb told jurors it was “unlikely” Alid will deny stabbing the two men but it would be for them to decide what his intentions were when he did the acts.

The hearing was adjourned until Friday.


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