Man 'gave Nazi salute after shooting Asian boy'

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The Independent Online
A GUNMAN made Nazi salutes and shouted 'Sieg Heil' at police after shooting dead a 15-year-old Asian boy and severely wounding his uncle while trying to rob an off-licence, a court at the Old Bailey was told yesterday.

Michael Birnbaum QC, for the prosecution, said that when Joseph Conroy, 27, an unemployed man of Peckham, south London, was told his victims were seriously injured, he told police: 'Good, I hope they die. My name is Conroy. Good English name that. What am I going to get for doing a couple of Pakis? I am Anglo-Saxon.'

Mr Birnbaum said Navid Sadiq, 15, died from a bullet to his brain when Conroy 'emptied the magazine' of his pistol during the raid on the wine shop in Southwark, south London. Navid's uncle, Nassar Ali, 25, was also seriously wounded as he wrestled with Conroy.

Conroy has denied murdering Navid and attempting to murder Mr Ali in January. The day after the shooting, he told police the gun had gone off accidentally, and that his finger had become jammed in the trigger during the struggle in the shop.

The jury was told Conroy had pleaded guilty to lesser charges concerning the incident.

Mr Birnbaum said Conroy was high on a cocktail of drink and drugs when he went into Tower Wines in Southwark, at about 6.30pm on 25 January. Conroy waited for all the customers to leave. Navid was sitting on a box watching television behind the counter while Mr Ali was serving. 'Conroy was acting in a furtive manner,' Mr Birnbaum said. 'He pulled out a silver pistol and shouted: 'Give me the fucking money'.'

Mr Ali thought Conroy was joking, but quickly realised his mistake and opened the till and said: 'Help yourself', Mr Birnbaum said. But then Navid shouted to his uncle, 'The gun. It is a toy one.' Mr Ali threw a bottle of Ribena and made a grab for Conroy, who started firing.

'Mr Ali thought the shots were blanks. Then he saw his nephew fall down,' Mr Birnbaum said. 'Blood was running from his temple.'

Mr Ali's father, Bagh Ali, 55, and two customers helped to restrain Conroy, but by that time he had fired all six shots in the pistol's magazine, one of which hit Nassar Ali in the stomach. 'Mr Ali was in severe pain and was screaming. His nephew was lying on the floor with blood trickling from his temple,' Mr Birnbaum said.

The detectives who arrested Conroy had reported that he stank of alcohol, Mr Birnbaum said. Conroy said he had drunk seven or eight pints of lager and had taken both methadone and heroin.

But the next day, he told police he was sorry for the injuries he had caused. 'I only took the gun out because I wanted to scare them,' he is alleged to have told them. But Mr Birnbaum asked the jury: 'If the shooting was accidental how is it that six shots were fired, emptying the magazine? The truth is he went in deliberately intent on robbery. He encountered brave resistance and tried to shoot his way out.'

The jury was told Navid died in hospital 36 hours after the shooting, with the bullet still lodged in his brain.

The trial was adjourned until today.