Abdulgalil Aldobhani denies murdering Fahad Nur and he is on trial at Cardiff Crown Court along with his brother Mustafa Aldobhani and friend Shafique Shaddad.
Aseel Arar, 35, from Middle Park Road in Birmingham, denies assisting an offender.
Mr Nur, 18, died of his injuries following an incident at around 12.25am on June 2 last year.
The teenager was fatally stabbed in a lane linking Park Place and Corbett Road in Cathays, in South Wales.
WalesOnline reports in her closing speech to the jury Narita Bahra QC said: “There are no winners. A young man has died and three more sit over there with their lives in the balance.”
Ms Bahra, for Abdulgalil Aldobhani, said to the jury: “Last year, on November 26, you came into this courtroom and you waited for your number to be selected.
“You will have looked over there [the dock] and what will you have thought: What have they done? Why am I here?
“Then you heard the charge of murder. It is emotive. It awakes in each of us conscious and unconscious emotions. The prosecution have very skilfully deployed emotive language.
“Why? If I were a cynic I would say by arousing strong emotions they are making critical and dispassionate examination of the evidence difficult.”
She asked the jury to put aside emotions and put stereotypes and preconceptions out of their minds.
Ms Bahra suggested the Crown had tried “to lump” all the defendants in together in order to “spread suspicion”. She asked the jury to consider the case of each defendant separately.
She added: “The prosecution are asking you to be sure Abdulgalil Aldobhani was not faced with a situation in which he had no choice but to defend himself.”
The defence barrister asked the jury to see the case from her client’s perspective and assess the evidence impartially and dispassionately.
She reminded them the prosecution bring the case and must make the jury sure of the answers to each of the questions on their route to verdict document from the judge.
Ms Bahra said: “It is not for him to prove his innocence. Each one of you would expect nothing less than that if it was you, your brother, your friend in that dock.”
To convict Abdulgalil Aldobhani the jury would have to be sure that he inflicted the fatal wound and intended to kill Mr Nur or cause him really serious harm at the time.
His counsel asked: “Or might Abdul have been acting in self-defence?
“We submit on behalf of Abdul, when you carefully reflect on the evidence, the answers are not as the prosecution emotively seek to persuade you.
“It is the prosecution plot. It is the story they want to tell you. It is a story they want you to accept. The prosecution stubbornly cling to their story. Your job is to see past that.”
She warned the jury speculation – believing things with little or no evidence – was “dangerous”.
Ms Bahra said: “The sad reality is that young man [Mr Nur] had a history of violence and weapons and drugs.
“The question is: might Fahad Nur and his associates have been the aggressors that night? Might they have been assembling for group violence as they had done previously?
“He was a young man who was involved in a world of drugs and violence.
“You will appreciate the street dealing of Class A drugs is a dangerous way to earn a living. A dealer is more likely than most to carry a weapon to protect himself and his commodities.”
Looking for the latest news in your postcode? We have launched a brand new website InYourArea.co.uk allowing you to stay up to date with what’s happening near you. It also has an app.
Search the latest news, property listings, jobs, planning applications, public notices and more. To get breaking news sent to your phone, download the BirminghamLive app here.
The court heard Mr Nur had convictions for violence and drug-related offending by the age of 18.
Ms Bahra said the year before he was stabbed Mr Nur was involved in a group attack on a lone man in the street.
They were caught on camera chasing the man through St Mary Street, throwing a chair at him, and punching and kicking him. A belt was used during the attack.
The defence barrister said: “The assault only ceased because other males came to the victim’s assistance. How much further would they have gone if someone had not stopped them?”
Ms Bahra told the court 36 days before the incident, in April 2019, Mr Nur was caught by the police with cannabis and two knives.
The court heard one knife was 13in long, with an 8in blade, hidden in the waistband of his tracksuit bottoms. The other was a folding lock knife.
She reminded the jury police found one large knife and one small knife in a hollow tree following Mr Nur’s death.
Most criminal cases are heard in a magistrates’ court. The magistrates are usually people who live in the local community, sometimes called justices of the peace. There are usually three magistrates who are supported by a legally trained advisor. Sometimes cases are tried by one magistrate, called a district judge, who is a lawyer.
Magistrates’ courts are not as formal as the Crown Court, the magistrates do not wear wigs and only the ushers (court officials who keep everything running smoothly) wear black gowns.
Some cases are heard in the Crown Court. There are three situations where a case may be ‘tried’ at the Crown Court:
- Serious crimes
- Cases where the defendant (the person accused of the crime) has asked to have his case tried by a jury
- Magistrates may send a case to the Crown Court if they feel they do not have the power to set a sentence as severe as the crime deserves
Cases at the Crown Court are tried by a jury. These are 12 people from the general public who listen to the evidence presented during the trial and decide if the defendant is guilty of the crime. The judge decides on matters of law during the trial, such as whether certain evidence is allowed to be presented. The judge also makes sure the trial proceeds in a fair way. At the end of the trial if the defendant is found guilty the judge decides the sentence for the crime (for example how long the defendant must spend in prison).
The defence barrister showed photographs of the knives to the jury, adding: “Carrying two knives, we suggest, must be the modus operandi of this man when dealing in the world of drugs.”
Ms Bahra reminded the jury Mr Nur was found to be carrying just under £2,000 worth of cash and drugs on the night of the incident.
The pathologist found 43 wraps of heroin and crack cocaine, valued at £860, concealed in his buttocks and £780 in cash hidden in the heel of his shoe.
Ms Bahra said: “We say those previous convictions support Abdul’s case that Fahad Nur was the aggressor in the incident that night.”
She argued the previous convictions were relevant and “not simply to blacken his name”.
The defence barrister suggested the CCTV evidence was “crucial” in helping the jury to decide who the aggressors were that night.
She said Mr Nur and his friends were on bikes while Abdulgalil Aldobhani and Shaddad were on foot so Mr Nur – who was living in Miskin Street – could have just cycled away.
Prosecutors allege Abdulgalil Aldobhani and Shaddad were running because they were going to attack Mr Nur but Ms Bahra suggested they could have thought: “Let’s get home.”
She added: “He [Mr Nur] could have gone home. If he was scared, if he was being chased, he could have just gone home.”
Ms Bahra suggested one of Mr Nur’s friends had told “demonstrable lies” and diverted the police investigation while another was “manipulative”.
She said there would be “no room for doubt” if cameras had covered the lane but instead evidence came from “drunk students” and “questionable witnesses”.
The defence barrister suggested the jury could not be sure witness Mohammed Adam Mohammed was reliable and honest.
He described seeing a three-on-one attack but accepted he was on his phone and not really paying attention.
Ms Bahra told the jury they should be “a little bit cautious” about the evidence of student Ethan Moore as other witnesses commented on his level of inebriation.
The student said he saw two men kicking another man on the floor but she suggested the pathology evidence did not back that up.
She asked the jury to consider the evidence of pathologist Dr Deryk James “very carefully”, adding: “We say it is not as simple as the prosecution would have you believe.”
Prosecutors allege it cannot be a case of self-defence as there were 21 wounds but Ms Bahra reminded the jury only one of those wounds was fatal.
She said Mr Nur was 6ft 3in tall compared to Abdulgalil Aldobhani who is 5ft 8in.
The court heard on the evening of June 1 last year Abdulgalil Aldobhani went out to get some chicken and was messaging his girlfriend.
Ms Bahra said: “He has been living with an escalating nightmare for the last seven months. Arrested for murder. His life changed and here he is.”
She said he was “compliant and cooperative” when he was arrested at Heathrow Airport.
The defence barrister pointed out her client had no previous convictions for carrying knives or public violence. When he was charged with a previous offence he admitted his guilt straight away.
Ms Bahra suggested if things had happened differently Mr Nur could have been in the dock and Abdulgalil Aldobhani could have been dead.
Mustafa Aldobhani, 22, who does not have a fixed address, and Abdulgalil Aldobhani, 23, from Cathays Terrace, deny murder. Shaddad, 25, from Louisa Place, also denies the charge.
Aseel Arar, 35, from Middle Park Road in Birmingham, denies assisting an offender. The trial continues.