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Brothers on trial over shopkeeper death

Choudhry Zishan Photo: Hampshire Police

Two brothers "spoiling for a fight" were stopped by police for their "hostile" behaviour about 15 minutes before they killed an Eastleigh father as he headed to work in the early hours, a court has heard.

Jonathan McKinley, 23, of Chandler's Ford, Hampshire, and Samuel McKinley, 25, of no fixed address, are on trial at Winchester Crown Court charged with the murder of Choudhry Zishan.

The 35-year-old had left his pregnant wife, Sabina, and five-year-old son, Azaan, in bed as he left their flat above his newsagent's shop in High Street, Eastleigh, at about 4.30am on Sunday March 30 this year.

He was heading to his car to work at another of his stores in Southampton when he encountered the McKinley brothers. Andrew Langdon QC, prosecuting, said: "A gentleman by the name of Choudhry Zishan used to tell his friends and family that it was his view that, if you are unlucky enough to be robbed or mugged, it was far better to hand over your possessions than to fight or resist because, whereas possessions are generally replaceable, life is not.

"And it's an awful irony in this case that Mr Zishan himself went on to lose his life when subjected to what may have started as a street robbery but turned into something much worse."

Mr Langdon said the brothers had spent much of the previous night drinking in the nearby Litten Tree pub.

During the evening, they went to the home of a friend, Andrea Palmer, to pick up a bottle of vodka, before returning to the pub.

He added that Samuel McKinley had previously been banned from drinking in the pub after being placed on a Pubwatch list but was able to stay in the premises because of confusion caused by his similarity in appearance to his brother.<

Mr Langdon said they then went to the home of their half-sister, Ellie McKay, with friends, where they continued to drink until the early hours.

The brothers were described as "spoiling for a fight" before they left the house.

Mr Langdon said: "Jon and Sam, both of them drunk, at times were intimidating towards people in this group - spoiling for a fight is the way one of the witnesses put it."

The jury was shown CCTV footage of the group in a nearby street being confronted by police who were alerted by a member of the public concerned at their behaviour, which Mr Langdon said was described as "hostile".

Samuel was searched by police because he was reported to have an empty bottle in his possession, Mr Langdon said.

The time on the search form given to him by police was at 4.10am. It was about 15 minutes later that Mr Zishan left his home and was killed, the court heard.

The jury was also shown CCTV footage of the moment the brothers met their victim at a pedestrian crossing and further footage showing some of the attack in the distance.

Mr Langdon said Jonathan McKinley put his arm around Mr Zishan and began to talk to him before they started to follow him as he walked away down the High Street.

"It becomes pretty clear that Mr Zishan wants nothing to do with them," he said.<

"What happens next to Mr Zishan at the hands of the McKinley brothers is as bewildering as it is deeply shocking, as what may have begun as a robbery turnsinto gratuitous violence going beyond what was needed to steal from him."

Both brothers deny murder.