Murder trial: suspect shouted ‘I’ve killed him’

Latest news 24-hours-a-day at
Latest news 24-hours-a-day at

A witness has told a court she overheard two murder suspects arguing in a Derby garden about killing father-of-four Barry Smith in Kilburn.

Sahira Azam recorded Nathan Doherty and Emma Aitken as they burned “a large bag” in the garden of communal flats where they lived in Pear Tree, a jury at Leicester Crown Court heard.

Miss Azam said she was awoken by the sound of “a loud bang” and looked out of her window to see Doherty and Aitken in the garden and started to film them on her iPhone.

Asked by Michael Auty QC, prosecuting, what woke her in the early hours of October 6, Miss Azam, who gave her evidence from behind screens, replied: “A loud bang.”

She added: “It sounded like a gate shutting or some metal of some sort. It was coming from the flats that my house overlooks. It was around 4.30am. I got up pretty much straight away and saw people outside arguing and shouting.

“They were in the garden by a tree. I heard the girl calling him Nathan.”

Mr Auty asked Miss Azam if she remembered “anything specifically” about what they were arguing about.

Miss Azam replied: “I heard Nathan shouting ‘I have killed him, I have killed him’. He was quite hysterical. I heard the female say ‘it was not just you, it was all three of us, my dad was there too’.”

The court has previously been told by the prosecution that Mr Smith, 48, was beaten to death with pool cues and a fence post, dragged to a pile of rubbish and his body set alight in a “savage and merciless attack” outside Kilburn Welfare Social Club.

Dog walkers discovered his charred remains outside the club at 8am last October 6.

Vincent Aitken, 44, of Chapel Street, Kilburn, his daughter Emma Aitken, 19, and her partner Nathan Doherty, 27, both of Portland Street, Derby, all deny the murder of Mr Smith.

Aitken’s wife, Pamela Aitken, 41, also of Chapel Street, denies assisting an offender in relation to Mr Smith’s death.

Mr Auty asked Miss Azam if Doherty said anything in response to Miss Aitken, after she said ‘it was all three of them’.

She replied: “He was threatening the girl about her dad saying he (Doherty) would kill him (Aitken). She was saying how much she cared for and loved her dad – how much she would miss him if he was sent to prison.”

Miss Azam said she then filmed footage, which was played to the jury in court, on her phone as Aitken allegedly pulled a large bag from behind a shed in the garden of the Portland Street flats which she said Doherty set alight to.

Mr Smith, of Mayfield Avenue, Kilburn, has been described by his family as “a proud gypsy” and had lived in the village for six years.

A post-mortem examination revealed his cause of death as multiple injuries.

The trial continues.