Eight men have been found not guilty of the murders of three friends during rioting in Birmingham last summer.
It’s after a trial at Birmingham Crown court which has lasted nearly 3 months.
On August 10th last year 21 year-old Haroon Jahan and brothers Shazad Ali aged 30, and Abdul Musavir, who was 31, died when they were hit by a car in the Winson Green area of the city.
Thirty-year-old Ian Beckford, who was driving the car which hit the three men, was today found not guilty of murder. **
Mr Beckford was standing trial alongside seven other men who were accused of joint enterprise in the murders of the three friends.
As the jury at Birmingham Crown Court found Mr Beckford not guilty of murdering the men, nor the lesser charge of manslaughter, all eight defendants have been cleared of all charges.
Everton Graham, Joshua Donald, Aaron Parkins, Adam King, Ryan Goodman, Sean Flynn and Pablo Ruiz-Gaviria were all acquitted.
During the trial the court heard how Mr Beckford was carrying two passengers on the night the three men collided with his car. The jury also heard evidence suggesting the involvement of a further two cars containing seven men.
In total 10 men were believed to be in the three vehicles on the night, but only eight were traced by police and brought to stand trial.
CCTV seen by the jury showed a crowd of around 80 men gathered on Dudley Road trying to protect businesses from looters on the night of August 10th when the three men died.
There were many people out in Winson Green that night - some were driving around to see what was happening - phoning and texting friends to come and join them around the Dudley Road area.
In a black Mazda 6, Ian Beckford was at the wheel, his friend Everton Graham and another un-named passenger were with him.
Driving a black Ford Fiesta was Joshua Donald and with him was his friend Aaron Parkins.
Thirdly a black Audi A3 belonging to Adam King. His friends Ryan Goodwin, Sean Flynn, Pablo Ruiz-Gaviria and a fourth man whose identity they wouldn't reveal, called simply Mr C.
Just after 1.15am the three cars appeared in convoy on Dudley Road. The Audi drove towards the crowd gathered at the petrol station, bringing people out onto the pavement.
Seconds later, the Fiesta stopped in the middle of Dudley Road and the Mazda pulled alongside.
The Fiesta moved off and skirted the edge of the crowd, but the Madza swerved left and into the crowd, hitting the three friends.
The involvement of the other cars, it was argued by the prosecution, meant the men were therefore complicit in the deaths through joint enterprise.
Throughout the trial all eight defendants denied those allegations.
Today they were cleared of all charges and walked free from court.**