Antiques dealer beaten to death by gang in Tube attack, court told

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An antiques dealer who travelled to London to celebrate his brother's birthday was killed by four youths after catching the wrong Tube train, the Old Bailey was told yesterday.

Thomas Scott, 34, from Newark-on-Trent, Nottingham-shire, was returning to the Hendon home of his brother, Nicholas, who was with him, in October last year. The men realised that they had taken the wrong branch of the Northern Line and got off the train in Kentish Town, north-west London.

Jeremy Benson QC, for the prosecution, said that the two men became involved in a scuffle with two or three men shortly before 1am near the Tube station, after which four youths joined the fracas.

He said: "These four defendants were in the vicinity and decided to join in the fight. They chased the Scott brothers along the road. Eventually Thomas Scott and his brother were caught."

Mr Benson said that Nicholas Scott, 28, shouted at the youths to stop as his brother lay on the ground, bleeding heavily. Thomas Scott, who suffered serious head injuries, never regained consciousness.

Nicholas Scott, who said he felt "pretty drunk", could not remember getting on to the Tube, but did recall what happened on the street after they left Kentish Town station.

He told the court: "I remember feeling concerned about the amount of intimidation when I left that station. I walked off, leading by example, and my brother turned and walked off. I remember hearing something like, 'Are you going to get them?' They turned in our direction and we carried on walking away from the scene.

"I remember a jolt to the back of the head, I tried to keep my balance, blows were coming in. Quickly after that I remember seeing my brother on the ground.My brother wasn't moving. He seemed a far distance - I had to run over to him ... [he was] about 20 to 30 feet away." He went on: "I shouted 'stop', put my arms up and everything seemed to have stopped."

Both men were taken to the Royal Free Hospital in north-west London. Thomas Scott was put on a life-support machine, which was switched off three days later. Nicholas Scott was treated for a swollen nose, black eyes and bruises.

One of the four youths allegedly used a knuckle duster to hit Thomas Scott at least twice. It was found under his body at the scene. A bread crate was also used as a weapon.

The jury was told that the four youths fled the scene and boarded a bus.

The brothers had met earlier that day at King's Cross and travelled to South Kensington, where they visited the Natural History Museum and some pubs. They later went to meet their cousin in Islington. Both had consumed a considerable amount of alcohol, the court was told.

CCTV footage from Kentish Town Tube station showing the brothers dancing together was replayed to the jury. Mr Benson said: "It seems they were in somewhat good humour and performing some sort of jig or dance."

Mohamed Ahmed, 20, from north London, two boys aged 16 and one of 17 - who cannot be named for legal reasons - deny murdering Mr Scott on 19 October 2002. The trial continues.