Three men charged with hit-and-run murders

 

A twenty-six-year-old man and a teenager were remanded in custody yesterday after appearing in court charged with the murders of three men who were hit by a car during riots in Birmingham last week.

During a brief hearing at Birmingham magistrates' court, Joshua Donald was charged with murdering 21-year-old Haroon Jahan, and brothers Shazad Ali, 30, and Abdul Musavir, 31.

Donald and a 17-year-old male from Winson Green, who cannot be named because of his age, were arrested on Thursday and were charged late on Saturday night after police were granted extra time by Solihull magistrates' court to question them.

Late last night a third man was charged with the murders, named by police as 23-year-old Adam King, from Kings Norton in Birmingham. The three victims suffered fatal injuries when they were hit by a car in the early hours of last Wednesday while trying to protect shops in Winson Green from looters.

The community responded to the tragic events of last week yesterday by turning out in their thousands for a peace rally at the scene of the tragedy.

Tariq Jahan, father of Haroon, who has won praise for calming racial tensions after the deaths, told the crowd that seeing so many different members of the community together gave him "strength in my heart".

He said: "We Muslims believe the gates of heaven are open and the gates of hell are shut this month [Ramadan]. That gives me the strength to believe that the boys did not die in vain – they died for this community. I hope that this community will remember them."

Notting Hill Festival to finish at nightfall

Notting Hill Carnival organisers are promising to start the party early and wind up at nightfall as they hope to win approval for the event in the wake of the riots.

Carnival director Ancil Barclay said organisers were reassessing their plans amid heightened security concerns. Changes being considered include a 9am start, encouraging partygoers to leave at nightfall, vetting the music played along the route and improving communication between organisers and stewards. "What we are looking at is how are we going to treat the potential risk of trouble," he told the BBC. He added it was still not guaranteed that the three-day street festival, which drew a million people last year, would go ahead. "We do not have the final say, we have to demonstrate to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea that we have reassessed our plans and convince them we have put systems in place to deal with any unplanned event."

The carnival is scheduled to start on 28 August. Last year 230 people were arrested.

Tim Hume

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