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Pentonville prison murder accused: Victim had knife

Prisoner tells Old Bailey trial how he saw ‘Jamal lying down, chest down’ after row broke out

10 November, 2017 — By Joe Cooper

Victim Jamal Mahmoud

A PENTONVILLE inmate has denied killing another prisoner after an argument broke out over drugs.

Jamal Mahmoud, 21, was killed in the Caledonian Road jail on October 18 last year in a row over contraband, the Old Bailey has heard.

Basana Kimbembi, 35, has denied playing a part in Mr Mahmoud’s death. Joshua Ratner, 27, and Robert Butler, 31, also deny murder. All three deny wounding another prisoner with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

On Monday, the court heard how Mr Kimbembi had gone up to floor five of G-wing to give Mr Mahmoud some can­nabis. The trial has been told that Mr Mahmoud was part of a gang of men on that floor who controlled drug supply in the wing.

Mr Butler accompanied Mr Kimbembi to floor five but a row then broke out between the groups. “Jamal pulled out a knife, a big knife, from his waistband,” Mr Kimbembi said under questioning from his own barrister, Michael Holland QC.

“When I saw that I just started running towards them. I was not really thinking at that time. I saw Butler was in a situation and I thought I needed to get him out of that situation.”

He said that after an altercation with another prisoner, he later saw “Jamal lying down, chest down,” adding: “He was looking at me. I didn’t see where the knife was but I saw something next to him.”

Mr Kimbembi admitted kicking Mr Mahmoud twice in the head, adding: “I was just threatened. I don’t know what I was thinking.”

He told the court: “The second time I noticed that he was still looking at me and he did not make a movement.”

He then heard a prison officer behind him and was bundled into a cell by another prisoner for safety, with Mr Kimbembi telling the court from the witness box: “He told me he thinks Jamal’s dead. My head was all over the place. I was thinking ‘How did he die?’”

He said he had not taken a knife to floor five with him and denied seeking trouble.

The court heard how Mr Mahmoud was a prominent figure in the Enfield-based Get Money Gang.

He had previously been stabbed and thrown in a canal but survived, the Old Bailey has been told.

The trial continues.

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