THE JURY in the trial of Shahadat Mollah Sohag saw a police interview in which the defendant denied murder and aggravated burglary.
He told officers at Sussex Police major crime branch when he saw Mohammed Anhar stabbing the victim he ‘lost his mind’.
Sohag, 23, of no fixed abode, who pleaded not guilty, told police Anhar, 34, of East London, had threatened him when he tried to help victim Ahmed Remon Hayder.
Mr Hayder was brutally stabbed to death in a flat in Seaford on Monday February 1.
Anhar, who is Mr Hayder’s cousin, has pleaded guilty to both charges.
A forensic pathologist said the 27-year-old victim suffered at least 16 head wounds - inflicted while he was unconscious or being held down.
He was found when a staff member at an architect’s business downstairs noticed blood dripping through the ceiling.
Sohag said he called police when he read they were looking for him and returned from staying with relatives in France to speak with officers.
On Friday, May 20, the jury watched footage of the police interview with Sohag where he told them he had gone to Eastbourne because Anhar said he could help him find work on January 30.
They spent the night in a staff toilet next to the kitchen at the Moon of India restaurant in Seaford, which is owned by Mr Hayder’s parents.
The next day they went to visit a restaurant in Eastbourne where Anhar tried to find work for Sohag.
The chef promised him a job and told them to come back at 10pm when the boss was there.
Later the chef called but Anhar didn’t call back. Instead he took them to the toilet again and told Sohag not to worry.
Around 3am Anhar used a ladder to gain access to the flat above the restaurant and let Sohag in through the kitchen door.
In the morning Anhar said he was going to speak to his cousin Mr Hayder about some personal business.
Speaking through an interpreter during his police interview Sohag said, “Two or three minutes later I heard a noise.”
Sohag went into the room where the cousins were. He continued, “Anhar grabs my hand and throws me on the bed. Then he strikes Remon mostly on his head.”
He continued, “I lost my mind. I was at my wits’ end. I didn’t know what to do.”
Remon managed to get out of the room but then Sohag said him lying on the floor downstairs breathing heavily.
He tried to put a towel on his head to stop the bleeding.
But Sohag said, “[Anhar] told me ‘let go of it – I’m going to strike you’.”
Sohag said he had to let go for the sake of his own life.
During the interview DC Mick Burkinshaw asked Sohag why Anhar had stabbed his cousin but Sohag said he didn’t know.
He told police Anhar took a key from Remon’s room and opened the parents room.
Sohag said Anhar ensured his prints were in the house by making him touch everything, including the jewellery.
He continued, “He told me: “your finger prints are everywhere. You will never be able to get away from me’.”
A few days later Sohag made his escape to France.
The trial continues.