A man racially abused an 81-year-old grandfather as he walked to a mosque before launching a vicious alcohol and drug-fuelled attack with his friend, a court heard yesterday.
Perpetrator Dale Jones flew into a “raging fury” following an entire day and evening of drinking alcohol and consuming drugs, and accused Mushin Ahmed of being a “groomer”, Sheffield Crown Court heard.
Jones and Damien Hunt punched, kicked and stamped on Mr Ahmed as he made his way to prayers at the mosque in Rotherham, the jury was told.
Andrew Robertson QC, prosecuting, said: ‘Since his retirement (Mr Ahmed) had been a regular attender at the mosque.
“In the early hours of Monday August 10 last year, he set off to the mosque for prayers. He never made it to the mosque. On his way there, just after 3am, he was attacked and murdered.”
Mr Robertson said Jones had become agitated, violent and aggressive due to an issue concerning his partner’s son’s father.
He had left the home he shared with his partner in Rotherham at 10am the previous morning and spent the day and night drinking Sambuca and Southern Comfort, and taking cocaine and diazepam, the court heard.
Mr Robertson said: “He had got himself into a raging fury. A rage fuelled by drugs and alcohol.”
A short time before the fatal attack, Jones racially abused an Asian taxi driver, the jury was told.
Mr Robertson said: “There was an incident of blatant aggression by Jones that demonstrated his racist attitude. A taxi driver came down Doncaster Road. The driver was Asian. Jones began shouting racial abuse.”
Around 10 minutes later, Mr Ahmed emerged on to Doncaster Road, where Jones was with Hunt and brothers Kieran and Shane Rice.
Mr Robertson said: “Jones immediately accused him of being a groomer. No doubt his word for paedophile and no doubt an accusation made by Jones for no better reason than Mr Ahmed was Asian.”
The prosecutor said CCTV footage showed Jones and Hunt following Mr Ahmed. The Rice brothers said they then saw Jones punch and kick Mr Ahmed in the head, the court heard.
Mr Robertson said Jones saw a friend around an hour after the attack. When the friend asked how he was, he replied: “It’s a good job you’re not a P***.”
The barrister said: “A good indication of what motivated him to attack Mr Ahmed and a good indicator of how he felt about it.”
Mr Ahmed was found by a passer-by two hours after the attack and was taken to hospital, where he died 11 days later, on August 21.
Mr Robertson said Mr Ahmed suffered extensive head and facial injuries and had the imprint of a trainer across the front of his face.
The imprint was believed to match that of the make of trainer worn by Jones on the night, and Hunt’s DNA was found on Mr Ahmed’s broken dentures, the court heard.
Jones, 29, and Hunt, 29, of Rotherham, both deny murder and are expected to blame each other, the court heard. The trial continues.