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‘You’re a dead man’: Harold Hill man received threatening message before he was stabbed to death court told

PUBLISHED: 07:00 01 March 2018

Police and forensic team at the scene of the murder in Straight Road Harold Hill

Police and forensic team at the scene of the murder in Straight Road Harold Hill

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A man from Harold Hill received threatening text messages from a drug dealer before he was stabbed to death in a block of flats, a court has heard.

Liam Harman, 27, was allegedly attacked by three men in a communal stairwell on July 11, 2017 in Straight Road, Harold Hill.

Four defendants charged with Liam’s murder appeared in court at the Old Bailey on Wednesday, February 28.

Prosecutor Oliver Glasgow said: “The attack was not random and it was not motiveless.

“Liam, like many of his friends was a drug user. According to his friends, he had been in the habit of stealing drugs from runners who work for local dealers.

“For it is easier to steal drugs than pay for them, but such a habit carries with it obvious risks.”

Mr Glasgow told jurors that since the drug dealers who Liam stole from could not turn to the police, their only option was to take matters into their own hands.

He said:“Liam had reason to be scared on the day he was killed. He was sent a text message with a simple but chilling warning,” said Mr Glasgow.

“The text message read: ‘You’re a dead man’.

“The threat was as much a promise as it was a warning.”

The prosecutor told jurors that the message was sent by Cedric Kiyago.

Kiyago, 21, who lives between addresses in Morris Avenue in Newham, Daventry Road in Romford and Mimosa Close in Harold Hill, is known by the nickname Scales.

On the night of the attack, Liam was reluctant to leave the flat he was staying in, so a friend tried to purchase some drugs on his behalf.

Mr Glasgow said: “Little did [Liam’s friend] know, the person he was about to buy drugs from was the very dealer who wanted him dead.”

The court was told Liam was stabbed 10 times in the chest and abdomen, and at least two of the wounds were fatal.

Three men were seen running from the stairwell in which Liam was killed, one armed with a knife.

A witness identified one man running from the scene – who was wearing white latex gloves – as 23-year-old Nathan Charles, of Lowbrook Road, Ilford.

The gloves were recovered by police and found with Charles’s DNA on them, the court was told.

Charles informed the police the other two men were 21-year-old Kamal Hamilton-Albert, of Highfield Road, Woodford Green, and 23-year-old Mark Gleneson, of Whitta Road, Newham, who are also standing trial for Liam’s murder.

Mr Glasgow told the jury: “It is the Crown’s case that Cedric called on this attack, and intended that those who he asked to carry it out, would make good on his threat.

“That is why those three men travelled to the scene of the attack, and that is why they fled the scene immediately after Liam Harman was killed.

“Liam was repeatedly stabbed and nothing can excuse such appalling violence.”

All four deny murder.

The trial continues.

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