Hartlepool man 'lured to house and killed by drug gang'

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The defendants had intended to "take out" Hamawand Ali Hussain, Teesside Crown Court heard

A drug dealer was shot in the head at point-blank range after being lured to a derelict house, a court has heard.

Hamawand Ali Hussain, 30, was found at the property on Charterhouse Street, Hartlepool on 14 September 2019, Teesside Crown Court heard.

A group of Albanian drug dealers had "lured him there to kill him", prosecutor Francis FitzGibbon said.

Noza Saffari, 39, Anxhelo Xhaferi, 24, Dorian Pirija, 33, and Qazim Marku, 24, all deny murder.

CCTV footage showed members of the gang buying an axe, blades, gaffer tape, cable ties and nylon rope days before the meeting, Mr FitzGibbon said.

The purchases were not used on Mr Hussain, the court heard, as he was shot with a sawn-off shotgun soon after he arrived at the house.

Startled parrot

Mr Hussain, who was born in Kurdistan but had British citizenship, had thought he was going to a meeting with other drug dealers.

The prosecution said the motive for the murder was not clear but police believed the cannabis farmer had made enemies of a group of Albanian drug dealers who had decided "to take him out".

A man living close to the murder scene, who was hard of hearing, recalled his parrot had been startled by a loud noise, Mr FitzGibbon said.

Jurors were told this could have been sound of the shotgun.

Noza Saffari, 39, of Park Lane, Middlesbrough, who is Iranian of Kurdish origin, and Albanians Anxhelo Xhaferi, 24, of Acton Street, Middlesbrough, Dorian Pirija, 33, of Trillo Avenue, Bolton and Qazim Marku, 24, of Maxwell Road, West Drayton, London all deny murder.

Mr FitzGibbon told the court: "We cannot say which of the men in Charterhouse Street pulled the trigger and shot Mr Hussain but we allege each of these defendants took an active part in the murder, playing different roles and each as guilty as the shooter himself."

At least four more suspects were still at large, he said.

The trial continues.

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