A pensioner quietly ignored taunts that he was ‘out grooming’ while on the way to mosque before he was fatally attacked, a court heard.
Mushin Ahmed, aged 81, was on his way to early morning prayers when he was subjected to a sustained assault on August 10 last year.
Mr Ahmed, who lived at East Dene with wife Margaret, was found by a passer-by at 5.25am and taken to hospital. He died 11 days later.
Dale Jones, aged 30, of East Bawtry Road, Rotherham, and Damien Hunt, 30, of Doncaster Road, East Dene, both deny murder.
Eye witness Shane Rice, who was with both defendants and his brother, Kieran, at the time of the attack, said the group first saw Mr Ahmed walking out of a ginnel.
He told Sheffield Crown Court Jones confronted Mr Ahmed in the ginnel.
Mr Rice said: “He asked him if he was out grooming. Mr Ahmed never said one word back to him and just carried on.”
He said Jones and Hunt immediately chased after Mr Ahmed and he followed moments later with Kieran.
When Andrew Robertson QC, prosecuting, asked why he followed, Mr Rice said: “I knew something was going to happen with the mood Dale set off in.”
The court heard that Mr Ahmed turned round to his pursuers eventually and asked: “What do you want?”
Mr Rice said Jones then punched him in the head.
He said: “As he was on the ground, Dale hovered over him. I remember him kicking him in the side of the head.”
The court heard Mr Rice and his brother then ran off.
Mr Rice told the court he did not remember Hunt – whom he described as a friend – attack Mr Ahmed.
But in a solicitor interview Mr Rice said Hunt delivered the first punch, before Jones began kicking him in the head.
Upon cross examination, he said he could not recall making the comment.
The court previously heard Jones was the ‘main protagonist’ in the attack after getting himself into a ‘raging fury’ after hours of drinking and drug-taking. Mr Robertson had previously told the court both Jones and Hunt had been drinking Sambuca and had taken cocaine prior to the attack.
Mr Robertson said Jones had already made threats to kill his girlfriend’s former partner that night and had tried to attack an Asian taxi driver after hurling racist abuse, moments before coming across Mr Ahmed on Doncaster Road.
The trial continues.