Murder accused was 'insistent' his alleged victim had arranged for him to be shot in Sheffield street attack, court hears

Sami leaves behind wife, Martina, and their daughter, Amelia, who was just six-years-old when her father was killed.
Sami leaves behind wife, Martina, and their daughter, Amelia, who was just six-years-old when her father was killed.
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A 22-year-old man accused of murdering a Sheffield dad believed his alleged victim was behind a street attack that left him with a gunshot wound to the leg, a court heard.

Khalid Mokadeh, of The Oval, Firth Park is accused of murdering Sami Al-Saroori during an altercation outside a house party in Wensley Gardens, Firth Park just before midnight on September 9 last year.

The scene on the Wensley Estate following the fatal attack on September 9 last year

The scene on the Wensley Estate following the fatal attack on September 9 last year

During the opening of the trial at Sheffield Crown Court yesterday, prosecutor, Nicholas Campbell QC, said Mokadeh has admitted to causing Sami's death, but said he was acting in 'self defence'.

Mr Campbell told jurors: "The amount of force that may be used when acting in lawful self defence must be reasonable; in short, you don’t take a sledge hammer to crack a nut. The prosecution case is that Mr Mokadeh was the aggressor that night, and Mr Al-Saroori had done nothing to merit what happened to him."

READ MORE: 'Help me. I'm dying. Please,' Sheffield dad cried out after being fatally stabbed in the heart, court told

He went on to explain how Sami, 31, and his brother, Mohammed Al-Saroori, had known Mokadeh through a group of young people who hung around the Wensley Estate in Firth Park, who he described as being a community of people who 'look down on snitches' and do not confide in the police.

Sami was just 31-years-old when he died from a stab wound to the heart on September 10 last year

Sami was just 31-years-old when he died from a stab wound to the heart on September 10 last year

As well as being part of that group, Mr Campbell told the court that Sami, Mohammed and Mokadeh also belong to the city's Yemeni community.

The Crown allege that Mokadeh also stabbed Mohammed Al-Saroori in the street during a separate incident on May 25 last year, after Mohammed attempted to mediate in an altercation he saw Mokadeh having with another man.

Sami and Mohammed's mother, Sabrah Al-Saroori, told Sheffield Crown Court this morning how in the weeks following the attack on Mohammed, she went to visit Mokadeh at his family home in the hope of 'sorting out' the conflict between the two young men.

She said: "I went to their house and went to see his parents and see if we could sort it out, and see why he had done these things. I went to speak to his parents basically, and get their attention."

Sami Al-Saroori was fatally stabbed outside a property in Wensley Gardens on September 9 last year

Sami Al-Saroori was fatally stabbed outside a property in Wensley Gardens on September 9 last year

Sabrah said that during the course of her 20-minute visit, Mokadeh admitted to stabbing Mohammed, and told her he had done it because Mohammed had 'belittled' him in his attempt to intervene in the argument he was having.

She said: "He said Mohammed hadn't made him look very good and Mohammed had belittled him."

"He looked very sorry so I knew he had done it," she added.

Sabrah told the court that as she was leaving, she gave Mokadeh a hug because she 'felt sorry for him' and took his mobile number in case she needed to get hold of him in the future.

"I told him to be good, I told him not to let it happen again. I told him he's not just cutting into chicken or something, he's cutting into a person. When I saw him [Mohammed] in the hospital his stomach was on the outside and it wasn't good," Sabrah continued.

In the weeks following the visit, Sabrah told the court that she maintained a cordial relationship with Mokadeh through text messages they sent one another - and that the defendant even got Mohammed to call home on one occasion when she was unable to get hold of him.

Sabrah told jurors that she went to visit Mokadeh again, after he was shot in the leg in the street on June 15 last year, because she was concerned he was continuing to get himself 'into trouble'.

During the course of the visit, Sabrah says Mokadeh told her that things were now fine between him and Mohammed; but claimed 'his boys' told him Sami had arranged for him to be shot.

"He said Sami whispered in the ear of the man that did it: 'shoot him'," said Sabrah, adding: "I told him how ridiculous this was, because Sami wouldn't hurt a fly."

Sabrah said Mokadeh would not accept this, and remained 'insistent' that Sami was behind the shooting.

"I can remember him saying: 'I'd do time for Sami' or maybe it was 'I have no time for Sami,' I can't remember."

Both Mokadeh and Mohammed only gave full accounts to police of the attacks they had suffered in the wake of Sami's death, the court was told yesterday.

Mokadeh was charged with Sami's murder in September last year, and was subsequently charged with wounding Mohammed in October.

Under police interview, Mokadeh provided officers with a prepared statement in which he said the allegation about him wounding Mohammed had been 'fabricated' in the wake of him being charged with Sami's murder.

Mokadeh denies one count of murder, one count of wounding and a further count of possessing a bladed article.

The trial continues.