Police station panic button failed as detectives fought Hartlepool murder suspect, court hears

Ahmed Alid denies murder, attempted murder and two counts of assault against the detectives. Credit: Counter Terrorism Policing North East

A panic button in a police station failed to work when a murder suspect fought with two female detectives who had been interviewing him, a court heard.

Ahmed Alid was shouting and chanting in Arabic and was heard saying “Allahu Akbar” during the disturbance at Middlesbrough Police Station as he was questioned, Teesside Crown Court heard.

The 45-year-old had become “agitated” about his interpreter while being questioned about the murder of Terence Carney and the attempted murder of housemate Javed Nouri on 16 October, a detective said in her witness statement.

Prosecutors said Alid stabbed Mr Nouri, 31, as he slept in his room in the asylum seekers’ accommodation in Hartlepool where they lived.

The larger man fought off his attacker who then fled into the town centre where he stabbed Mr Carney, 70, a stranger who was out walking.

Alid, who denies murder, attempted murder and two counts of assault, was arrested and was questioned the next day by detective constables Angela Harvey and Emma Stevenson.

DC Harvey got in between the defendant and his interpreter when she realised Alid was becoming angry and could be making threats towards him, jurors heard.

The court heard that the panic button at Middlesbrough Police Station did not work. Credit: PA

In a statement, she said she became aware that DC Stevenson had pressed a panic button, but it had not worked.

The defendant’s solicitor rang 999 from the interview room to summon help.

Alid blocked the door, so police colleagues who were watching the interview elsewhere could not force their way in, the court was told.

Alid then grabbed DC Harvey in a bear hug, which led DC Stevenson to try to help her, and the three of them ended up on the floor, with the two officers reporting being assaulted.

CCTV from inside the police station showed several officers pile into the interview room, and then showed Alid being carried away.

DC Stevenson said in her witness statement that she was left “shaken” by the experience.

She said it was fortunate colleagues were watching the interview remotely, adding: “If this was not the case, who knows what would have happened?”

A senior officer later tested the panic button and confirmed it was not working, the court heard.

The prosecution claims Alid said he was motivated to get “revenge” for the Palestinian victims of Israel.

The jury has heard how Mr Nouri and Alid had previously fallen out about religion, and how Mr Nouri had converted to Christianity.

Alid denies murdering Mr Carney, the attempted murder of Mr Nouri and two counts of assaulting the detectives.

The trial continues.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...