Murdered grandfather tried to fight back, court told

Sharif Demirsay.
Sharif Demirsay.

Murdered Kempston grandfather Sharif Demirsay died from a stab wound to his heart, a court heard Monday.

Pathologist Dr Olaf Biedrzycki told Luton Crown Court a post mortem examination revealed the wound would have proved “rapidly fatal” and Mr Demirsay would have lost consciousness within “tens of seconds”.

He also said he found Mr Demirsay had suffered wounds to his hands consistent with him trying to fight off an attacker with a knife.

Doctor Biedrzycki was giving evidence on the third day of the trial in which four teenagers plead not guilty to the murder.

The prosecution alleges the four went to the home of 65-year-old Mr Demirsay and his partner, Parshini Salhotra, 69, on the night of May 14 last year, to steal gold and cash.

Mr Demirsay, who lived in Vineyard Close was stabbed 11 times after answering a knock at his door around 9.30pm that evening.

It is alleged three of the gang, wearing hoodies and each armed with a knife, pushed their way into his bungalow home and began attacking him, while a fourth youth remained outside as a “lookout.”

A 15-year-old witness later told the court one of the teenagers had told him how he had taken part in the robbery.

Speaking from behind a screen, the boy said his friend described how he was part of a gang that grabbed Mr Demirsay when he opened the door.

He said his friend told him the man was struggling and a lady in the house had struck one of the gang with a pole.

The boy added: “He said the lady was in hospital because of him and it was because he’d kicked her. He said he gave her a flying kick.”

He added his friend had claimed to have stolen gold and money but said ‘he did not stab anyone’.

Last week, Mrs Salhotra told the jury how “three boys” wearing hoodies and each carrying a knife pushed their way into the home and began attacking Mr Demirsay, as one shouted “kill him, kill him!”. All three, she said, were stabbing him and she could see “blood everywhere”.

Mrs Salhotra said she grabbed her vacuum cleaner pipe from a cupboard and struck one of the youths over the head.

An attacker then stabbed her in the left forearm, before the gang made off with cash and jewellery from her handbag.

Mrs Salhotra said the bag contained £1,000 in cash, which was money for her rent and to pay a loan to someone, and a quantity of 22 carat gold Indian rings, bracelets and earrings, worth between £5,000-6,000.

That evening she said they watched a film together in his bedroom and afterwards she got ready for bed and went into the kitchen to get a glass of water.

She was there, she said, when she heard a loud knock at the door and she told the jury that Sharif went to answer it, telling whoever was outside “Hold on, hold on.”

Mrs Salhotra said she came out of the kitchen to see three boys near the front door, each armed with a knife and wearing hoodies with the hoods pulled up to hide their faces.

All three set about her partner stabbing him and causing him to fall to the floor.

Shortly before the killing, three of the accused, Travis Dixon-Charles, 18, Courtney Glynn, 19, and the 17-year-old youth, were alleged to have been huddled together in a smoking shelter at Bedford College where they were on the same course, talking excitedly about “a load of gold in Kempston”.

A teenage girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has also told the jury she saw the defendant Dixon-Charles who she knew, that evening in an alleyway walking away from Vineyard Way.

Shortly afterwards, she said, she saw three boys who she thought were aged 17 to 18, in the area of Vineyard Way.

The girl, speaking from behind a screen, told the court she heard “screaming and banging” coming from Mr Demirsay’s home as she walked by.

She said she carried on walking to her home but when the screaming didn’t stop she came back out and saw Parshini Salhotra come out from her home.

The teenager said the woman’s next door neighbour also came out of her house and this woman called out to her to “call the police” which she did.

Travis Dixon-Charles, Courtney Glynn, the 17-year-old, and a 16-year-old who cannot be identified for legal reasons, all plead not guilty tom murder.

Mr Dixon-Charles, Mr Glynn and the 17-year-old all plead not guilty to aggravated burglary. All four teenagers deny unlawfully wounding Mr Demirsay’s partner, Parshini.

Finally, Mr Glynn pleads not guilty to intimidation and possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.

The case continues.