Barrister in Sheffield murder trial disputes CCTV, DNA, phone records and gun residue evidence

A defence barrister for one of the three men accused of murdering Ramey Salem has told a murder trial jury to re-consider the evidence surrounding CCTV, DNA, phone records and gun residue.

By Jon Cooper
Monday, 20th June 2022, 10:19 am

Sheffield Crown Court has heard how Jabari Fanty, Aaron Yanbak and Ricardo Nkanyezi have all denied murdering 20-year-old Ramey at a flat on Grimesthorpe Road South, Burngreave, Sheffield, on November 16, 2020.

Fanty, Yanbak and another defendant, Jordan Foote, have also denied the attempted murder of Ali al-Humakaini after he was shot at Osgathorpe Park, Burngreave, Sheffield, a month earlier on October 31.

But Prosecuting barrister Stephen Wood QC has claimed the case against the defendants revolves around drug dealing, gangs and guns.

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Pictured is deceased Ramey Salem, who died aged 20, after he was repeatedly shot at a flat on Grimesthorpe Road South, at Burngreave, Sheffield.

However, defence barrister Dapinder Singh QC, representing Yanbak, argued the four pillars of the prosecution’s case including CCTV, DNA, phone records and gun residue are weak and not strong enough to support a roof.

Mr Wood claims the accused allegedly linked to the murder and the attempted murder could be placed in the relevant areas around the time of each incident by CCTV footage and mobile phone usage.

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But Mr Singh said: “The CPS are relying on poor quality CCTV and asking you to jump to the same conclusions as them.”

Sheffield Crown Court, pictured, has heard during an on-going trial how three Sheffield men who have allegedly been linked to guns and drugs have denied murder following a fatal shooting.

He argued there is one piece of footage which does not distinguish how many people have been filmed.

Mr Singh said footage allegedly depicts Yanbak in a long-length, Nike coat but the only relevant clothes linked to this defendant are waist-length coats.

He also argued the prosecution has not provided a full timeline and picture of all the calls made and that even though cell phone data can locate usage to geographical areas it cannot say exactly where the phone was. Mr Singh added that two phones attributed to Yanbak had even been used at the same time.

Mr Singh said: “The interpretation demands a full analysis of the evidence rather than putting things together to come to a conclusion.”

Concerning, the DNA, Mr Singh stressed this is open to interpretation and when it is found you have to remember that it can be transferred from person to person.

Similarly, Mr Singh argued gun residue can also be transferred and he questioned why only one round of ammunition had a DNA link to Yanbak when other ammunition had none of his DNA.

He said: “If these four pillars are weakened or destroyed the roof collapses and the defendants are not guilty.”

Mr Singh reminded the jury that when police visited Yanbak’s family they contacted him and he came home.

He added: “He is presented as a high-end drug-dealer. He did not run away. He did not go to another country or go to a safe haven with no extradition treaty. He came back when a family member asked him to attend and allowed himself to be arrested by police.”

Concerning the attempted murder, Mr Singh pointed out the victim identified and named the shooter as a different man to any of the defendants and he had also said the other two men had done nothing.

In addition, Mr Singh said Yanbak had been associating with someone whose flat had allegedly been used for the conversion of firearms and drugs.

He said: “Mr Yanbak was simply at the flat where his girlfriend lived. But he has been extremely foolish by having a relationship with someone who was no good for him.”

Mr Singh urged the jury to test the proposition that the case revolves around a drug-dealing gang and claimed the evidence is “poorly-lacking”.

He said: “Who is this gang? Who does what in the gang? What is its hierachy? Who are the decision-makers? What’s the extent of the turf? Who’s challenging their turf?”

Mr Wood, prosecuting, previously said one of two guns used in the Ramey Salem shooting had also been used in the attempted murder of Ali al-Humakaini.

He also claims the same gun was used in a shooting on November 2, 2020, in Rotherham, involving Yanbak and Nkanyezi.

Mr Wood further claimed the second gun used during the Ramey Salem shooting was linked to a firearms incident on October 19, 2020, at Longley Avenue West, Shirecliffe.

He also said Foote allegedly fled from a stolen BMW at Walkley Street before officers recovered a handgun, drugs and cash.

Police then found alleged drug dealing paraphernalia at Foote’s home and the handgun linked to the BMW was examined and possible DNA matches were linked to Fanty according to Mr Wood.

Following Fanty’s arrest, Mr Wood said he was allegedly found to have a knife, two mobile phones a ballistic vest, a baton, masks, scales with traces of drugs and Nike trainers matching a footprint from the murder scene.

Mr Wood said when Yanbak was arrested a firearms magazine was allegedly recovered and gunshot residue was found on his clothing, and Nkanyezi was allegedly found with a bag with drugs and a gun in a rucksack.

Fanty, aged 19, who has no previous convictions, of Broadhead Road, Stocksbridge, Sheffield; Yanbak, 20, who has no previous convictions, of Abbeydale Road, Abbeydale, Sheffield; and Nkanyezi, 20, of Morgan Avenue, Parson Cross, Sheffield, have all pleaded not guilty to murder.

Foote, 20, of Basegreen Road, Basegreen, Sheffield, Fanty and Yanbak have all pleaded not guilty to the attempted murder of Ali al-Humakaini.

Fanty, Yanbak, Nkanyezi and Foote have also all pleaded not guilty to conspiring to possess firearms with intent to endanger life, not guilty to conspiring to possess ammunition with intent to endanger life, and not guilty to conspiring to supply class A drugs.

Fanty has also pleaded not guilty to possessing a bladed article and Nkanyezi has also pleaded not guilty to possessing a firearm.

The trial continues.