LONDON—A Moroccan asylum seeker was “motivated by terrorism” when he murdered a 70-year-old man in Hartlepool at the weekend, a prosecutor has told the Old Bailey.
Ahmed Alid, 44, is accused of the murder of Terrence Carney and the attempted murder of Javed Nouri in the early hours of Sunday Oct. 15, 2023.
Mr. Carney is believed to have been attacked shortly after withdrawing money from a cash machine in the town centre.
Ben Lloyd, prosecuting, told the Old Bailey on Thursday: “Just before 5:15 a.m. the police received a report of an ongoing fight at a house in Wharton Terrace, Hartlepool. There was lots of shouting and screaming and a man was fighting with a knife.”
He said: “The police attended and found Mr. Nouri, who had been stabbed in the chest, legs and mouth. He claimed he had been stabbed by his housemate, who then left the address with a knife.”
Mr. Lloyd said: “The police searched the area and found a second victim on a nearby street. That individual had suffered stab wounds. He was given first aid but he died at the scene. He was identified as Mr. Carney.”
The prosecutor said: “The defendant was located nearby in possession of a large knife stained with blood. The defendant had blood on his clothes and injuries to his hands.”
Defendant Shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’
Mr. Lloyd said: “While he was detained in custody, he shouted Allahu Akbar [God is great in Arabic]. Officers couldn’t understand most of what he was saying but recognised some of it. Translations have been obtained.”
The prosecutor said Mr. Alid had “in effect admitted the offending” during a police interview.
“While the investigation is still in its early stages, the police believe the offending to have been motivated by terrorism,” added Mr. Lloyd.
Mr. Alid, who is a Moroccan national, was arrested by Counter-Terrorism Policing North East and Cleveland Police.
On Thursday, he appeared by videolink from Frankland prison in County Durham and was asked, via an Arabic interpreter, if he was Ahmed Alid.
He did not reply but later said, “I am very ill, I cannot talk.”
The interpreter added, “He is complaining that he is sick and ill and cannot talk.”
Defence counsel, John Elvidge, KC, said he had not been able to talk to his client, but he added: “You will have heard the defendant say that he is sick. No doubt he will be seen by a doctor. In any event, the defence will arrange for a doctor to see him.”
Mr. Alid—who was bearded, wearing a grey sweatshirt and flanked by four prison officers—was remanded in custody until Oct. 27 by the recorder of London, Mr. Justice Richard Marks, KC.
Hartlepool is one of several towns the Home Office has used to disperse asylum seekers waiting for the processing of their applications.
Hartlepool MP Says she is ‘Besieged by Asylum Seekers’
On Wednesday the town’s Conservative MP, Jill Mortimer, raised the issue in the House of Commons at Prime Minister’s Question Time.
Ms. Mortimer said: “Every week my office is besieged by asylum seekers. My staff are intimidated by young men. The fact is, most of them are illegal migrants who should be expelled.”
She said: “Will the prime minister take action? Will he make sure enforcement is delivered? Will he ensure that people who have no right to be here are expelled? Enough is enough, I want these people out of Hartlepool now.”
The prime minister, Rishi Sunak, replied, “I would like to reassure her that this government is doing everything we can to tackle illegal migration and the harm it causes by removing those with no right to be here in the UK.”
“We have excellent longstanding relationships to return people to many countries, we are returning thousands of people more this year than we have done in the past,” he added.
Mr. Sunak told MPs: “We will continue to use every avenue at our disposal to ensure that it is only this country and this government who decides who come here and not criminal gangs.”