Boxer ‘murdered student in street fight over girlfriend’ | #students | #parents

A trained boxer murdered a fellow student by knocking him out then stamping on his head, a court heard.

Elvis Duruaku and Hassan Haadi are said to have arranged a street fight in Everton over Mr Haadi’s girlfriend, Simran Nijher.

Prosecutors say Mr Haadi, 22, wanted to fight Duruaku after he made claims to Ms Nijher that Mr Haadi was cheating on her.

They allege Duruaku, 24, told friends it “should be fun” and bragged afterwards about “toying” with Mr Haadi, before a “devastating punch” and “stomp” put him in a coma.

In laughing texts, Duruaku is said to have told Ms Nijher: “All that chatting s*** takes a lot out of a man so now he has to sleep, you get me. It’s peak. The dumb, deluded c***.”

Duruaku, of Barker Avenue North, Sandiacre who denies murder and manslaughter, went on trial at Liverpool Crown Court today.

Tim Storrie, QC, prosecuting, said the rivals agreed to fight on Shaw Street at 8.30pm, on Saturday, March 21 this year.

He said they were “accompanied by their close allies to witness the confrontation” – captured on CCTV footage played to the jury.

Mr Storrie said: “Of the two men, it was the defendant who was better equipped to fight. He had every confidence that he was about to enter a fight that he would win, every confidence, as he put it, in his skill level as a boxer.

“Moreover, it appears he intended that his victory would be marked, not merely by that desire to win, but also by a deliberate desire to inflict on Hassan Haadi very serious injury.

“In the event, Elvis Duruaku overcame Hassan Haadi with ease. He knocked him out with a devastating punch. And once he was on the floor he delivered a final blow, by stamping on Hassan Haadi’s head.”

The junction of Langsdale Street and Shaw Street in Everton

Mr Haadi suffered “catastrophic” brain injuries, never regained consciousness in hospital and died on Sunday, April 5.

Mr Storrie alleged Duruaku “wanted to fight”, “believed he could unleash overwhelming force” and deliberately intended to cause very serious harm.

He said Duruaku was a “close friend” of Ms Nijher, another student, and his “interference in their relationship was the flash point for trouble”.

He said earlier that evening Duruaku “out of apparent concern for the welfare of Simran, disclosed that he believed Hassan Haadi had been unfaithful to her”.

The jury heard Duruaku claimed Mr Haadi had propositioned an ex-girlfriend for sex four days earlier, which had an “immediate, devastating consequence”.

Mr Storrie said phone calls and texts were exchanged as Ms Nijher confronted her boyfriend and “furious” Mr Haadi spoke with Duruaku.

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He said both men challenged each other, sending “cocksure and insulting texts” in anticipation of a fight – “a fight which Hassan Haadi sought and which Elvis Duruaku welcomed”.

He said Mr Haadi first rang Duruaku shortly before 8pm and within half an hour, “the ritual of the battle, from trading insults to trading blows” took place.

Mr Storrie said: “Elvis Duruaku had reason to be confident in that fight. The fact that he trained as a boxer was widely known and the subject of comment on social media. Plus, he was the bigger man.

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“His confidence can be measured by his comment that the prospect of a fight, as he put it, ‘should be fun’. And also at a later stage by his candid comment about how he had done no more than to toy with his opponent.”

He said witnesses and CCTV showed they willingly fought, but Mr Haadi, who was throwing punches, “failed really to impose himself on the battle and Elvis Duruaku was easily able to evade the blows”.

Mr Storrie said ultimately Mr Haadi “tired” and was “felled by a rapid-fire punch” from Duruaku, who stamped on him.

He said: “It is, the prosecution says, this stamp which manifests murderous intent.”

The prosecutor said Mr Haadi’s friends described a “stamp” or “stomp”; a “distressed” nurse on her way to work rang 999, “citing immediately that a man had been kicked on the floor”; and Duruaku made “unguarded comments” in “confessing to precisely what he did”.

Mr Haadi, who suffered a broken skull and brain injuries, was put in an induced coma at the Walton Centre, but died two weeks later, when his life support was switched off.

A post-mortem examination found he died from a “severe blunt force head injury”, caused by either “an accelerated fall backwards” or a combination of a fall and a “follow-up stamp”.

Mr Storrie said Duruaku messaged a friend to say Mr Haadi was in a coma on March 23 and “bragged of his victory”, texting: “He thought he had it. I showed him he didn’t.”

He said Duruaki also said he “toyed” with Mr Haadi, before claiming he “lost his mind” about a comment Mr Haadi made about his mother.

Mr Storrie said on March 25, in texts with Ms Nijher, Duruaku “provided his own assessment of the menace he represented”, when she said: “I feel like you could beat three people up with one hand.”

Elvis Duruaku is alleged to have murdered Hassan Haadi in a street fight in Everton

He said Duruaku “responded with enthusiasm”, stating: “I can’t control my strength. Me and brothers have that problem. Can’t lie…. maybe two, dunno about three.”

He said jurors would have to decide whether these were “empty boasts”, or revealed Duruaku “knew that this was always going to be an unequal fight”.

The prosecutor said the comments were part of a text conversation that might make for “uneasy reading”, when both knew Mr Haadi was “gravely ill”.

He said: “The tone you may agree is not one of regret. Or concern. In relation to Elvis’ view of his commanding strength, they laugh.”

Mr Storrie said Duruaku then suggested his rival’s medical condition “was the price for his impudence”, with the comment saying he now had to “sleep”.

He said Duruaku later discussed “his kick” with a witness to the fight and privately expressed regrets to a flatmate, saying he wished he hadn’t kicked Mr Haadi.

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Mr Storrie said Duruaku anticipated a police investigation and “planned and plotted his likely response”.

The prosecutor said recordings showed he accepted kicking Mr Haadi, but felt it would be best if he could claim it was self-defence.

He said Duruaku also admitted “quite clearly” to another man that he kicked his rival, before he was arrested at his family’s Nottingham home.

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Mr Storrie said Duruaku told police he was the wronged man, that Mr Haadi alone wanted to fight and he was scared, and accepted kicking, but not stamping on him.

He said: “Elvis Duruaku’s case, his position at trial, is he only acted in self-defence and in particular, he did not kick or stamp on Hassan Haadi.”

Mr Storrie said the jury might want to consider – if this was true – “why has he said so frequently to others that he did kick him?”

(Proceeding)




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