A Sheffield murder suspect has fled the country to Pakistan, a court heard this afternoon.
Sohail Khan was named at Sheffield Crown Court as allegedly being involved in the killing of Zabair Hussain on New Year’s Eve in Darnall.
He left the country in the days after the fatal street attack – in which Mr Hussain was kicked, punched and beaten unconscious with a baseball bat by three men before being run over moments later by a passing car on Staniforth Road in Darnall
A jury was told of Khan’s disappearance at the opening of the case against Idris Sadiq, who is alleged to have been one of the three men who attacked 41-year-old Mr Hussain.
Sadiq, aged 30, of Darnall Road, denies a charge of murder.
The court heard Khan flew to Pakistan on January 2.
Ben Nolan QC, prosecuting, said on New Year’s Day Khan attempted to board an evening flight to Lahore from Manchester Airport after his brother bought him a ticket from a travel agent in Darnall.
But he arrived too late to board the flight – leaving the next day instead on a plane to Islamabad.
Mr Nolan said: “It was the first flight out that day from Manchester to Pakistan.
“Sohail Khan left in a hurry and has never returned to the UK.”
He said a Peugeot 307 belonging to Khan that he was allegedly in with Sadiq before their attack on Mr Hussain has never been found.
It was reportedly driven on the night of New Year’s Eve to the Wetherby area of North Yorkshire.
Mr Nolan said: “The Peugeot has never been seen since.
“It is believed it was disposed of either by Sohail Khan or on his behalf.”
A mobile phone battery with Khan’s DNA on it was found close to Mr Hussain’s body at the scene of the killing.
Mr Nolan said it is the prosecution’s case that three men – Idris Sadiq, Sohail Khan and a third, unidentified man – ‘are guilty of murder’.
“The three men – Mr Khan, this defendant (Sadiq) and the so-far unidentified third man caused Mr Hussain’s death,” he said.
It came as the court heard how Mr Hussain, who was 41 years old and weighed just eight stone, had been beaten unconscious with a baseball bat and ‘left for dead’ in the middle of a busy road, moments before being run over by a passing motorist in a Kia Sportage.
Details were revealed as the two-week trial against one of the men alleged to have been involved began.
Benjamin Nolan, prosecuting, said defendant Idris Sadiq accepted being at the scene on the night of the killing.
He said he understands Sadiq’s defence to be that he was an ‘observer attempting to discourage the others from doing what they were doing’.
Mr Nolan said it was the prosecution’s case that Sadiq had played a role in the killing, along with the other two men.
He said: “For some reason, Zabair Hussain gave offence to these men.
“All three in one way or another joined in the attack with fists and feet, as well as the deadly weapon. It is plain as day they were attacking together.
“They gave him a good beating that rendered him unconscious and left him for dead in the middle of this busy main road.”
Mr Nolan told the jury that Mr Hussain, who lived on Staniforth Road, had a history of drug addiction and mental health problems.
He said on the night in question, Mr Hussain was seen on CCTV on Ribston Road off Staniforth Road talking with the occupants of a Peugeot 307 car.
He said following the conversation, the car followed Mr Hussain as he walked along Staniforth Road, coming to a stop at the junction with Barnardiston Road.
Mr Nolan said the car was stopped in the middle of the street at a 45 degree angle with its engine running and lights on as the men got out.
He said witnesses described how three men had beaten Mr Hussain unconscious as he was repeatedly kicked, punched and hit with a baseball bat before leaving him in the road.
A passing car then ran over Mr Hussain, who was dead by the time police officers arrived at the scene at 11.30pm.
Mr Nolan said medical evidence suggests Mr Hussain could ‘potentially have died from the head injuries during the assault alone’ but said it was considered ‘unlikely’ he had done so before being hit by the car.
He said had Mr Hussain not been assaulted, he would not have been hit while on the road.
The trial continues.