Trio facing jail over axe death

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Published: Friday 19th December 2014 by The News Editor

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Three teenagers are facing years behind bars for killing a man in a horrific axe and knife attack in scenes reminiscent of the Hollywood movie The Shining.

Handyman Paul Thrower died after two 18-year-olds hacked at him with a 4ft long axe and stabbed him 10 times at a block of flats in Hayes, Middlesex, on the evening of February 20 this year.

Zakariya Subeir and Kiro Halliburton claimed they acted in self defence when Mr Thrower came at them in a rage, smashing through a reinforced glass partition they were hiding behind.

Following a trial, Halliburton, who delivered the fatal knife wound, was found guilty of murder while Subeir and an accomplice, Mahdi Osman, also 18, were found not guilty of murder but convicted of manslaughter.

They will be sentenced later by Judge John Bevan at the Old Bailey.

A 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was cleared of involvement in the killing.

The court heard how the victim had been drinking and became very angry when his girlfriend Geraldine Roberts told him the youths swore, spat and threw a drink at her earlier that day.

When Mr Thrower confronted them, Subeir and Halliburton shut themselves into a bin chute on a first-floor communal balcony at St Dunstan’s Close.

As the furious 46-year-old hammered with his fists on the glass partition, the 17-year-old found an axe in a shed and Osman passed it up to Subeir, who had managed to get onto the roof of the adjoining porch.

Osman told the court he only handed over the weapon to help his friends barricade themselves into the balcony – not to attack Mr Thrower.

But when Mr Thrower smashed the reinforced glass and began to crawl through the gap, Subeir hit him twice on the head and once on the shoulder with the axe and Halliburton stabbed him repeatedly in the back with a knife.

Halliburton said he delivered the fatal stab to the chest after Mr Thrower grabbed the axe from Subeir, who then ran off.

He told jurors that Mr Thrower had the axe in one hand and him in the other and he did not know what else to do.

The victim emerged from the bin chute covered in blood, staggering, holding the axe before he collapsed and died from a stab to the heart.

As the defendants ran away, Ms Roberts chased after them. She was one of a number of residents who had called 999 to alert police who arrived within minutes.

Afterwards, all the defendants scattered – according to them, because they thought they would not be believed.

Halliburton shaved off his plaits and fled to Leeds in Yorkshire. When he was apprehended, he gave a false name. The red-handled lock knife he used to kill Mr Thrower has never been recovered.

Subeir flew to Somalia, via Dubai, but came back about three weeks later and was arrested on the plane at Heathrow airport.

The 17-year-old and Osman went to ground and were arrested five days after the incident.

Before the murder, all the defendants apart from Halliburton had been involved in an incident earlier that evening at The Great Western pub nearby.

They were asked to leave and while they were standing outside, a landlord said one of them threatened to “shank or jook” him – street slang for stabbing.

In the years leading up to the murder, residents of St Dunstan’s Close had complained about anti-social behaviour from groups of youths hanging around even though they did not live there.

The court heard that Halliburton had two previous convictions of possessing a knife or bladed weapon in 2012.

Subeir, of Uxbridge, Halliburton and Osman both of Hayes and the 17-year-old had all denied murder.

Published: Friday 19th December 2014 by The News Editor

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