Sussex

Man, 81, was 'getaway driver for drug dealer stabbing'

Ian Hemmens Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Ian Hemmens is accused of acting as a getaway driver

An 81-year-old man has denied being the getaway driver for a dealer accused of stabbing a rival in a drugs dispute.

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

Prosecutors at Portsmouth Crown Court say Mr Hemmens helped Mr Sami evade arrest and avoid prosecution.

Mr Hemmens denies a charge of assisting an offender, saying he drove to Bognor on that afternoon out of "boredom".

Referring to the two men alleged to have been involved in the attack, the retired burger van worker said: "I thought I will pick them up and maybe I will have someone to chat to for 10 minutes."

Amy Packham, prosecuting, told the jury Mr Hemmens was waiting in his car when Mr Sami jumped in the back seat.

She said Mr Sami, a student, had evaded arrest but his accomplice, Akeem Adebayo, of Colindale Avenue, Colindale, north London, was arrested and charged.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The trial of Mr Hemmens takes place at Portsmouth Crown Court

Mr Adebayo is on trial accused of wounding with intent to cause GBH and two charges of possessing cocaine and heroin with intent to supply.

Mr Hemmens, of Bognor Road, Chichester, denied picking them up from their address in Chichester and taking any money for driving them.

He also said that he had seen blood on the hand of the unknown man who jumped into his car, and that he felt "scared".

The prosecution says Mr Sami stabbed Dimitijs Semelis five or six times while Mr Adebayo held him down.

Mr Adebayo denied being involved in the altercation with Mr Semelis and added it was a "shock" when drugs were found on him when he was arrested.

Both defendants deny the offences and the trial continues.

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