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Murder accused ‘left the country after knife attack’

Jury told CCTV footage showed defendant at scene

02 November, 2018 — By Emily Finch

A MAN accused of murdering a father-of-two from Holloway was extradited from Norway to face trial, a court heard on Monday.

Romeo Nkansah, 37, was stabbed in Camden Town during a fight on May 29, 2016, Wood Green Crown Court was told. A jury heard how a knife was “swung” at Mr Nkansah and he bled to death from a 4cm wound.

Zekeria Quabdid, 29, denies murder in a trial that is expected to last three weeks.

The court heard how CCTV footage was used to identify Mr Quabdid after the jury was shown film of the moments after Mr Nkansah was stabbed.

Louis Mably QC, for the prosecution, said: “[In the CCTV] from just the other side of Camden Lock you see him [Mr Quabdid] walking.

“The police get quite a good still image of the face which was circulated. One officer looked at it and was able to give a name to the face. Inquiries were made in relation to the defendant’s whereabouts on the night.”

Mr Mably said that murder detectives quickly found Mr Quabdid was “out of jurisdiction and out of reach”.

He added: “The defendant had left the UK later on that day [after Mr Nkansah’s death]. He got on the Eurostar to Paris and went straight to Charles de Gaulle airport and took a flight to Kenya.

“He travelled with a friend who paid for all of this and they came back alone. He [Mr Quabdid] wasn’t coming back. If he had his way he wouldn’t be stood here today.”

The jury was told that “police kept the case under review, carried on with their investigation” and tracked down the friend who had paid for Mr Quabdid’s journey to Kenya.

Mr Mably said: “The police searched her flat to see if there was anything significant in the home.

“They looked in the washing machine and found the black trouser bottoms seen from the CCTV, which indicated that this was indeed the man.”

Mr Quabdid later “surfaced” in Norway and was extradited to Britain on May 9 this year, the court was told.

Mr Mably said it was “not disputed” that it was Mr Quabdid in the CCTV footage or the person who stabbed Mr Nkansah and killed him.

He said: “The issue [in the trial] is of self- defence. At the end of the evidence, was he acting in self-defence?

“Was it necessary for him to defend himself, and was what he did reasonable in the circumstances? The victim was prepared to have a confrontation too.”

In his opening remarks for the defence, Paul Keleher QC, told the jury to keep an “open mind”.

He said: “This case is not as simple as a man was killed and therefore it was murder. The issues that will arise is: who had the knife?

“The second issue is: what did he mean when he swung out? The fatal wound was just over 4cm. Who was the aggressor and who had the knife? You keep a very much open mind and listen to all of the evidence.”

The trial continues.

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