A detective in the Jordan Thomas murder investigation has defended a police probe into claims a witness was bribed to make a statement.
Detective Sergeant Robert Jones told the murder trial at Sheffield Crown Court that witness Kalim Akhtar, who made a formal statement on May 16, was a ‘different man’ when they spoke to him three days later about a reported allegation of bribery.
In his original police statement, Mr Akhtar had said that between 8pm and 9pm on Saturday, December 20 last year, he saw a man carrying a gun and wearing a balaclava ‘looking around’ on De La Salle Drive in Burngreave.
He also said he saw defendant Jama Ahmed later that night in Broomhall wearing the same clothing as the gunman but without the balaclava.
But on May 19, Mr Akhtar told police he had ‘got paid’ £100 by Jordan’s grandmother, Lynne Hamblet, to make the statement, and the contents were not true.
Det Sgt Jones denied the bribe claim was not fully looked into.
Dexter Dias QC, for Ahmed, said to Det Sgt Jones: “You didn’t write notes from the meeting with Mr Akhtar, you wanted to carry on as it was and brush this allegation under the carpet.”
Det Sgt Jones said: “I fully believe the family were trying to protect him and that they did not want Kalim to go to court to give evidence in this murder trial.
“I left contact numbers for the family to take this further but they never did and they couldn’t provide the £100 for forensic testing.”
Jordan Thomas was shot dead by a masked gunman on Derek Dooley Way on December 21 last year.
Ahmed, aged 26, of Broomhall Place, and Asif Yousaf, 33, of Violet Bank Road, both deny murder and the attempted murder of Neshaun Ferguson. Yousaf’s parents, Mohammed Yousaf, 61, and Tazeem Bi, 57, both of Violet Bank Road, both deny attempting to pervert the course of justice.
The trial continues.