Siddiqi jury retires

The jury in the trial of two men accused of stabbing 17-year-old Aamir Siddiqi from Cardiff have retired. Both men deny murder.

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Defendant accused of telling 'lies' under cross examination

by Joanna Simpson, Correspondent

Today Ben De Vere Hope was accused by his co-defendant's defence barrister of being Aamir Siddiqi's killer and of telling "deliberate lies."John Charles Rees QC said that Mr Hope was constantly changing his story even from what he had told the jury just yesterday.

Mr Rees said: "When that terrible act was committed it was you that was standing in a pool of blood. Itwas you that got blood on his shoes. It was you who ran out and left a foot mark on the top step.

Ben Hope and Jason Richards
Ben Hope, left, and Jason Richards, right, are on trial at Swansea Crown Court Credit: Court Artist

"Your shoes were got rid of because your shoes were standing in that blood and because you were hit by arterial spray.That is why you lied about the shoes and got rid if them isn't it?"Mr Hope answered "No" to each allegation.

Mr Rees put it to Mr Hope that in police interviews he asked "what happens to my hands?" and told police he thought "it would all be gone by now. What with washing, scrubbing nails. Cleaning surfaceswith bleach?"

'What was it?' Mr Rees asked ''what would all be gone?" Mr Hope said it was a "hypothetical question" and not an admission."You knew they'd check your fingernails that's why you scrubbed your nails after killing Aamir Siddiqi wasn't it?" Mr Rees asked. Mr Hope replied: "it wasn't, no."

Swansea Crown Court heard Mr Hope didn't tell the police he had bought a laptop because he didn't want them knowing he'd spent a large amount of money and didn't tell police he'd taken heroin and changed his clothes because of blood stains as he doesn't like to "broadcast" that he took heroin.

When asked why he hadn't told police he was in a "drug stupor" after taking heroin, Mr Hope replied: "I wasn't expecting to be charged with murder."

Mr Hope said in police interviews that when he saw the murder of Aamir Siddiqi on the news he knew what Jason Richards had been talking about when he said "I might have killed somebody."

Mr Rees said: "Why did you say he (Mr Richards) had repeatedly stabbed somebody in the first interview if he hadn't said that to you?" "I don't recall," Mr Hope replied.

Ben Hope denies murder of Aamir Siddiqi

The second defendant charged with the murder of Cardiff teenager Aamir Siddiqi and the attempted murder of his parents has denied having anything to do with the incident.

Asked by his defence barrister if he was 'involved in any way' in killing Aamir or attacking his parents, Ben Hope both times replied 'No, I wasn't.'

Mr Hope claimed the other defendant Jason Richards told him that he may have murdered someone. Mr Hope said: 'he said 'I might have killed somebody or words to that effect'.' His barrister asked 'did you believe him?' He replied 'no, he's a bit of a fantastist.' The trial continues.

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Officers give evidence at Siddiqi trial

A police officer who attended the scene of a 17-year-old student who was stabbed to death in his home has described it as the worst he had come across.

Sergeant Kee Wong told the jury at Swansea Crown Court he had been "affected" by what he had seen.

Aamir Siddiqi, 17, was stabbed on the doorstep of his home in Roath, Cardiff, in April 2010.

Jason Richards, 38, and Ben Hope, 39, deny murder and attempted murder.

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Murder trial: "a contract killing", court hears

Aamir Siddiqi
The prosecuting barrister has described the case as a 'contract killing' Credit: ITV News Wales

The trial has begun today of two men accused of murdering teenage boy, Aamir Siddiqi. Ben Hope and Jason Richards have denied murder at Swansea Crown Court.

This morning, prosecuting barrister, Mr Harrington, described the case as a "contract killing".

"They have been recruited for the attack. Tragically the killers went to the wrong house. They made a colossal mistake, a fatal mistake for Aamir." – Prosecuting barrister, Mr Harrington.