Schoolboy killed in Sheffield turf war

Abdulla Awil Mohamed, 18, from Burngreave
Abdulla Awil Mohamed, 18, from Burngreave
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A STUDENT was hit on the head and killed by a road sign after a car ploughed into a group of youths following weeks of bitter run-ins between Somali and Bengali youths in Sheffield.

Abdulla Awil Mohammed, aged 18, died of severe head injuries when a car careered into him and fellow Somalis on Coleridge Road in Darnall in March.

The Kia Picanto was steered onto the pavement, striking three of the friends, before it smacked into a street sign.

Abdulla, a first-year Sheffield Hallam University civil engineering student from Burngreave, was hit on the head by the sign as it fell.

He suffered an eight-centimetre gash across the head, and was pronounced dead a few minutes later.

Sheffield Crown Court heard the car was driven by 20-year-old Bengali man Aminur Rahman - and was carrying 19-year-old passengers Mohammed Kahar and Nizamul Hoque.

Kahar, of Swarcliffe Road, Darnall, and Hoque, of Willow Drive, Darnall, are on trial for manslaughter.

Both deny the charges.

Sheffield Crown Court heard that on the day of the tragedy, groups of Somali youths from Burngreave and Pitsmoor had travelled to Darnall to seek out a 17-year-old Bengali teenager who had been involved in fights going back a month.

David Myerson QC, prosecuting, said clashes escalated - but Abdulla became involved later that evening, as the trouble was dying down.

He told the jury: “It was the last act in a day marked by arguments and violence.

“The car was deliberately driven towards that group on the pavement. As they scattered the car hit the sign.

“When they saw what they had done, witnesses heard comments coming from those in the car that they had ‘got the wrong people’.”

Mr Myerson said there had been fights since February between young Bengalis and Somalis, all aged about 17.

On March 17, a group of Somalis caught the number 52 bus to Darnall, sparking a day of running battles around Staniforth Road.

The barrister said: “The young men from the Darnall areas were members of the Bengali community. And the men from the Pitsmoor and Burngreave area were Somalis.”

But he said: “The prosecution don’t say this was racially based - this is just a turf war.

“This is not an ethnic dispute.”

At one point the group of Somalis congregated outside a house on Nidd Road East in Darnall, where a Bengali family were mourning the death of their elderly grandfather earlier that day.

They tried to force their way into the house, enraging the inhabitants, who came out wielding mops and brooms.

Meanwhile, Abdulla was meeting friends across town on Gower Street, Pitsmoor. The group had heard false rumours that some younger Somalis had been kidnapped in Darnall.

Abdul’s best friend Abdi Mohammed, 19, told police in an interview played to court: “We decided to go and get them back from Darnall. We didn’t want a fight. We just wanted to get them back.”

Later that night, at about 7.30pm, the Kia Picanta was driving around Darnall, looking for Somalis after the earlier confrontation on Nidd Road East, the court heard.

The driver, Rahman, had told a friend: “We are on a mission.”

Hoque had sent Kahar a text message saying: “Hurry up, and bring a strap” - slang for gun.

Rahman had earlier been seen zooming in his car around the streets of Darnall, pulling skids and blocking the road.

Mr Myerson told the jury: “Hoque and Kahar were involved in the disturbances earlier that evening. They knew Rahman was prepared to use his car as an instrument for causing trouble.”

The trial continues.