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Jury retires to consider verdicts of three men alleged to have taken part in a Cheltenham machete attack

By EchoLauraC  |  Posted: August 28, 2014

Gloucester Crown Court (2)

A JURY have retired to consider the verdict of three men alleged to have taken part in a violent attack with a machete.

Steven Hill, 31, was said to have been left with blood pouring out of his head following the blow outside his Cheltenham home on April 3, this year.

Joel Phillips, 19, of Willowbrook Drive, Cheltenham; Nasir Sheikh, 21, of Goodyear Street, Gloucester; and 22-year-old Abdi Said of Byron Avenue, Podsmead all deny wounding Mr Hill with intent to cause him grievous bodily harm in Grosvenor Street, Cheltenham.

Gloucester Crown Court heard the three men claimed Mr Hill, known as Smooth, was aggressive and racist towards them and started it.

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The men were all said to have been arrested at gunpoint by armed police while they were getting a taxi after the violence.

Prosecutor Ramin Pakrooh told the jury in the final day of the trial: “These three men acted as a group on that day and they attacked him. This was a joint enterprise and each man encouraged it and they acted with their confederates.

“All three of them accept having been there and together at the time the first punch was thrown.

“Mr Hill told you he was set upon by these three men.

“You may have been scratching your heads as to why. The prosecution has not set to investigate the reason why. We know he was hit on the head with a machete.

“The defence has asserted Mr Hill was a drug dealer, but that begs the question what sort of people approach and attack a drug dealer?

“Whatever the reason was for hitting Mr Hill you can be sure it was not a lawful reason.

“There is an element of these defendants honing their lies over time. They could not tell the truth at the time, because the truth does not require you to consult with your friends.”

Sheikh, who is alleged to have struck Mr Hill with the machete leaving him in need of seven staple stitches and blood pouring down his face, said he acted in self-defence.

He told the jury Mr Hill had got the machete from his flat and was waving it them, before he managed to disarm him and accidentally struck him with it on the flat side of the weapon and not the blade.

She said: “Mr Hill said he was confronted by the three men, punched by Mr Phillips and then attacked by Mr Sheikh. He said nothing happened in advance. He says it is a completely unprovoked attack. Why would a group of people go to a flat armed with a knife and then attack him in such a fashion? Are you sure Mr Hill was telling the truth?”

She questioned why Mr Hill told police he had not known any of the men, but a text message had been sent from his phone to her clients previously.

Defending on behalf of Phillips, Jason Coulter, told the jury Mr Hill was not being entirely truthful and said his client and Said were outside when the blow with the weapon was delivered.

He said: “They have never had any previous dealings and there is never been any bad blood between them. Nothing emerges as a motive for a gang attack.

“The other two are oblivious to what has happened. Mr Sheikh emerges and they go to the taxi rank and they get in one.

“Mr Phillips admits throwing a punch, but in facts misses and cuts his finger.

“He did not handle or use the machete in any way.”

Defending for Said, Joe Maloney, told the jury: “He offered no actual violence and that was confirmed.

“He accepts being present at the start of the incident, but when it became heated he left the room.

“He had met up with his friends by accident, by chance in Burger King that day.

“What happened happened, but not in his presence.”

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