Man guilty of murdering pensioner in Hartlepool in 'revenge' for Israeli-Hamas conflict

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A Moroccan asylum seeker who said he was inspired by “revenge” for the Israel-Hamas conflict has been convicted of murdering a pensioner out walking in the street.

Ahmed Alid, 45, stabbed Terence Carney, 70, six times in Hartlepool town centre early on October 15 – eight days after Hamas attacked Israel.

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Minutes earlier, at around 5am, he had broken into the bedroom of his housemate, Christian convert and former body builder Javed Nouri, and hacked at him while he slept.

Alid shouted “Allahu Akbar” – “God is great” – during the terrifying attack at the Home Office-approved asylum seekers’ accommodation in Wharton Terrace, as Mr Nouri, 31, fought for his life.

Following the struggle, audio of which was captured by another asylum seeker’s 999 call, the smaller man fled into the street, still armed with one knife.

Doorbell camera footage showed Mr Carney, who was out walking in the town centre, cry out “No, no” as he was stabbed by the stranger.

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This was not a frenzied attack, the prosecution at Teesside Crown Court said, but a deliberate attempt to target Mr Carney’s body repeatedly before he walked off, leaving his victim for dead.

Jurors saw footage of armed police arresting Alid, who still had his bloodstained knife in his waistband, in a nearby street.

In a holding cell at Middlesbrough police station, Alid launched into a speech in Arabic saying that “Allah willing, Gaza would return to be an Arab country” and how he would have continued his “raid” if his hands had not been injured.

Alid, who strongly disapproved of Mr Nouri’s conversion to Christianity, said God was “displeased” with those who went astray.

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Housemates noticed Alid had watched a lot of coverage of the Hamas attacks on Israel and began carrying a knife.

Mr Nouri told detectives how Alid had laughed when he saw Hamas kill its victims.

The concerned housemate complained to housing bosses, the Home Office and to Cleveland Police, and a manager did warn Alid to behave or risk being thrown out.

During his police interview the day after the murder, Alid told police he launched his attacks because “Israel had killed innocent children”.

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Jonathan Sandiford KC, prosecuting, told the court: “In other words, he said he had committed the attempted murder of Javed Nouri and the murder of Mr Carney in revenge for what he believed to be the killing of children by Israel.”

Mr Sandiford added: “He swore by Allah that, if he had had a machine gun, and more weapons, he would have killed more victims.”

Alid admitted Mr Carney was “innocent”, justifying the attack by saying that Britain had created the “Zionist entity” of Israel and should make them leave, adding: “They killed children and I killed an old man.”

Alid began to get agitated with his interpreter during questioning by two female detectives, with colleagues monitoring the interview from elsewhere in the building.

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The defendant, a terror suspect, got into a struggle with the two women, one of whom pressed a panic button to summon help, but the alarm did not work.

The situation was so frightening, Alid’s own solicitor rang 999 from inside the police station to ask for help, before officers were able to force entry into the room and subdue him.

Alid denied murder, attempted murder and assaulting the two officers, claiming he did carry out the stabbings but without intention to kill or cause serious harm.

After the trial, Detective Chief Superintendent James Dunkerley, head of Counter Terrorism Policing North East, said: “The horrific attacks in Hartlepool were unprovoked and deeply disturbing.

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“I have no doubt that the swift response of the attending officers prevented further harm or loss of life that morning.

“We’re grateful for their bravery in the face of a dangerous and unpredictable suspect.

“I’d also like to thank the people of Hartlepool for their calm and measured response to that day’s events and for the resilience they showed in the weeks that followed.”

Cleveland Police’s Deputy Chief Constable Victoria Fuller said the stabbings “shook the local community to its core”.

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She said: “Alid’s actions not only left a family devastated, but also caused significant fear and distress amongst residents in Hartlepool and beyond.”

A jury unanimously found Alid guilty of murdering Mr Carney, attempting to murder Mr Nouri and assaulting the two detectives.

The judge, Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb, said she would sentence Alid on May 17.

Alid, who had the verdicts delivered to him through a translator, showed no emotion when they were announced.

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