22nd Apr, 2021

Nasir Patrice died in the street after a sword was thrust through his body in clash between rival drug dealers, jury hears

Editorial Correspondent 2nd Mar, 2021 Updated: 2nd Mar, 2021

NASIR Patrice collapsed and died in the street after a metre-long sword was thrust through his body in what was said to have been a clash between rival drug-dealers.

And the 17-year-old’s alleged killer was described as smirking as he fled the Leamington flat after the attack.

The youth is now 17, but was 16 at the time and cannot be named because of his age. He is from the Lewisham area of London.

He has pleaded not guilty to murdering Nasir on January 15 last year.

He has also denied the attempted murder of Abdul Moustapha at the flat in Tachbrook Road and doing acts intended to pervert the course of justice after the killing.

As the trial at Warwick Crown Court was about to start, barristers for three other defendants – who had denied perverting the course of justice – asked for the charge to be put again.

Richard Talawila, 19, of Northwick Avenue, Harrow; Abraham Kombey ,19, from Erith, London, but of no fixed address; and William Hutsch, 18, of Osborn Terrace, Blackheath, London, then pleaded guilty and will be sentenced after the trial.

With only the 17-year-old left in the dock, prosecutor Michael Burrows QC told the jury: “This case is about the death of Nasir Patrice.  He was killed on January 15 last year.

“That morning he went with two friends to a flat in a house in Tachbrook Road. The flat was the home of Natasha Owen.  She was not there, but there were two men there.  One was Christopher Galvin, and the other was this defendant.

“He was armed with a large knife or sword which he used to stab and kill Nasir Patrice

“The prosecution say (the defendant) murdered him, and intended either to kill him, or at least cause him really serious injury, and he also used the sword to stab Abdul Moustapha.”

Mr Burrows said after the attack the defendant ran from the scene and got a taxi to the Austin guesthouse in Emscote Road, Warwick, where he, Talawila, Kombey and Hutsch had been staying.

A man called Temba John was talking to one of the men when the defendant arrived in a panic, with a deep cut to his knee holding a metre-long sword ‘with a nasty-looking blade.’

“He said he had been at Natasha’s house and three men had stormed in and tried to rob him, and he demonstrated how he had stabbed one of them.”

They went into their room, and then knocked on Mr John’s door and asked him to get some tissues for them, and when he took them to the room he saw the bed had been stripped.

Later he saw all four go out carrying four or five bin bags, and he was told they needed him to do them a favour.

He was reluctant, but saw they had weapons, and they got him to drive them to West Bromwich where the defendant and Kombey got out.

He, Talawila and Hutsch continued to Redditch, stopping on the way to fill up a jerry can with petrol.

At a spot near a cemetery some of the bin bags were taken from the car and set on fire using the petrol, allegedly to destroy bloodstained clothing and bedding.

Mr John was then told to book a hotel in Birmingham in his name and to take them all there, which he did.

The next day he was told to drive Kombey and Hutsch to a shop, where they left him in the car as they went to buy clothes.

“He saw his chance to drive off, and he drove back to Leamington and went to speak to a friend and then to the police station.”

Mr Burrows told the jury: “For his part, the defendant denies murder. It is his case that he acted in self-defence.

“There is, of course, a background to the case. That background is drugs.”

Mr Burrows says Christopher Galvin and Natasha Owens were drug users with Mr Galvin homeless and sometimes stopping with Ms Owens.

The defendant and co-accused were dealing drugs, with Nasir Patrice and his friends rival drug dealers.

Mr Burrows told the jury that on January 14 Talawila and the other two, including the defendant who was ‘a drugs runner’ were in the flat, which Ms Owens allowed them to use for dealing.

“Christopher Galvin says the defendant had a sword which he kept in his hand all the time and kept swinging it around and playing with it.”

The next morning Mr Galvin was woken by the defendant, who was the only other person there at that time, and he contacted Miss Owen who said she was on her way back.

When he heard a knock on the door he assumed it was her and opened it – only to be confronted by Nasir Patrice and his two friends, one who punched him as they pushed their way in.

Mr Galvin escaped and when he was outside he heard shouting and screaming and someone shouting: “Put it down, put it down.”

Mr Burrows said: “Within a minute or so the same three men came out of the house screaming for help, and he could see one of them was seriously injured and went to help him.

“That was Nasir Patrice, and he saw that one of the other two had also been stabbed to his abdomen, Abdul Moustapha.”

Thirty seconds later the defendant came out of the house and ‘looked round and smirked’ before running off.

Having made off, the teenager approached two builders to ask them to call for a taxi for him, and when they refused, he went into a shop where the shopkeeper phoned for one – and the taxi driver took him back to the guest house.

Meanwhile paramedics arrived and fought to save Nasir, but he was declared dead at the scene.

He had four severe wounds to his chest, one of which had gone right through his body, while another had cut through his pulmonary artery.

He also had wounds to his hands which Mr Burrows said were consistent with him trying to defend himself or grab the blade of the sword, and Mr Moustapha had a wound to his abdomen and a collapsed lung. The trial continues.

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