Sussex

Man, 81, 'acted as Bognor stabbing getaway driver'

Police at Marine Park Gardens in Bognor Regis Image copyright Eddie Mitchell
Image caption Dimitrijs Semelis was attacked in Marine Park Gardens in Bognor Regis

An 81-year-old man acted as a getaway driver to help a drug dealer escape the scene of a seafront stabbing, a court has heard.

Ian Hemmens is accused of driving Mahamud Sami away from the scene of the attack in Bognor Regis on 10 March.

Mr Sami chased Dimitrijs Semelis in a dispute over drugs and then stabbed him while Akeem Adebayo held him down, Portsmouth Crown Court was told.

Mr Hemmens, of Bognor Road, Chichester, is accused of assisting an offender.

Mr Adebayo, 23, of Colindale Avenue in London, is accused of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and two charges of possessing cocaine and heroin with intent to supply.

Prosecutor Amy Packham told the court Mr Sami, a student from Chichester, had evaded arrest.

Image copyright Eddie Mitchell
Image caption Akeem Adebayo told police Mr Semelis had attacked them

The court heard Mr Sami and Mr Adebayo had chased Mr Semelis along the seafront at about 17:45 GMT in a "dispute over the supply of drugs" before Mr Sami stabbed him five or six times while Mr Adebayo held him down.

Ms Packham said Mr Hemmens had earlier driven the pair to Bognor.

"Mr Hemmens was not directly involved in either the drug dealing activities or the argument and subsequent stabbing, he wasn't even present," she added.

"However he does appear to have been connected with Mr Sami and drove him around, them having made some kind of arrangement.

"The prosecution cannot say how or when they met or the exact nature of their relationship or arrangement."

The court heard Mr Hemmens claimed to police he had set off on his own and picked up two hitchhikers on the way.

Mr Adebayo told police Mr Semelis had attacked them and he had only pushed him away in self-defence.

The trial continues.

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