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Accused: I didn’t kill Holloway teen Alex

19-year-old refuses to give names at murder trial over fears for family’s safety

21 February, 2020 — By Calum Fraser

Alex Smith

A TEENAGER has told a court he fears naming individuals suspected of being involved in the murder of a 16-year-old.

Arif Biomy, 19, has been charged with murdering Alex Smith, of Holloway, in what prosecuting barrister Brian O’Neill has called a “revenge attack” after a long-running “tit-for-tat” gang feud.

Mr Biomy, who gave evidence this week at the Inner London Crown Court, has admitted being associated with the Agar Grove gang which has a feud with the Cumbo and P-Block gangs. All are based in Camden.

A list of violent incidents involving stabbings and shootings that date back to 2017, including four murders, was read out in court as part of the “agreed facts” about the gang feuds in Camden and Islington.

The murder of Nedim Bilgin, in Caledonian Road last year, was among those listed.

Mr Biomy, who lived in Plumstead in temporary accommodation at the time of his arrest, is not a suspect in any of these cases. Four suspects in Alex’s murder have now fled to East Africa, the court has been told.

Speaking at his trial, Mr Biomy said that a man nicknamed “Sam” had admitted killing Alex, but when he was pressed by Mr O’Neill to identify and name the suspects in court, he refused.

“These people know where I live,” the teenager said. “If anything happened to my mum I would not be able to live with myself. I love my mum.”

The court heard how Mr Biomy has been stabbed twice before and has a previous conviction for carrying knives, including a “Rambo”-style “hunting knife”.

Mr O’Neill said Alex’s murder, in August last year, was committed by associates of the Agar Grove gang to “avenge” Mr Biomy after he was almost killed when he was stabbed in the chest two months before. “You and your friends have lived by the knife for a number of years,” he told Mr Biomy.

Mr Biomy admits being the driver of a white Seat Leon that was seen driving close to the Regent’s Park estate, where Alex was attacked, on the night of the stabbing.

In CCTV footage shown to the jury, the white Seat follows a blue Ford Fiesta before both cars stop and three boys jump out – one appears to be carrying a knife.

Mr Biomy told the court he was only following the Ford Fiesta and that he was unaware of any plans to attack associates of the Cumbo gang.

The court heard how after the murder Mr Biomy had tried to get on a plane to Egypt but was unable to travel due to his passport being damaged.

He said he feared he would be blamed for the murder if he stayed.

“I did not kill Alex Smith,” he said.

Mr Biomy is standing trial accused of having “joint responsibility” for the murder.

Yusuf Yusuf, 19, of West Hampstead, has pleaded guilty to one count of assisting an offender.

The trial continues.


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