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Police station panic button failed during murder suspect fight – detectives

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Ahmed Alid who is on trial for murder and attempted murder (Counter Terror Policing/PA)

A panic button in a police station failed to work when a Moroccan asylum seeker fought with two female detectives who had been interviewing him over the murder of a pensioner in the street, a court heard.

Ahmed Alid, 45, was shouting and chanting in Arabic and was heard to say “Allahu Akbar” during the disturbance at Middlesbrough Police Station on October 16, Teesside Crown Court was told.

He had become “agitated” about his interpreter while he was being questioned about the murder of 70-year-old Terence Carney, and the attempted murder of housemate Javed Nouri, a detective said in her witness statement.

Prosecutors said Alid stabbed Mr Nouri, 31, as he slept in his room in the asylum seekers’ accommodation in Hartlepool where they lived.

The larger man fought off his attacker who then fled into the town centre where he stabbed Mr Carney, a stranger who was out walking.

Alid was arrested and was questioned the next day by detective constables Angela Harvey and Emma Stevenson.

Dc Harvey got in between the defendant and his interpreter when she realised Alid was becoming angry and could be making threats towards him, jurors heard.

In a statement, she said she became aware that Dc Stevenson had pressed a panic button, but it had not worked.

The defendant’s solicitor rang 999 from the interview room to summon help.

Alid blocked the door, so police colleagues who were watching the interview elsewhere could not force their way in, the court heard.

Alid then grabbed Dc Harvey in a bear hug, which led DC Stevenson to try to help her and the three of them ended up on the floor, with the two officers reporting being assaulted.

CCTV from inside the police station showed a number of officers pile into the interview room, and then showed Alid being carried away.

Dc Stevenson said in her witness statement that she was left “shaken” by the experience.

She said it was fortunate colleagues were watching the interview remotely, adding: “If this was not the case, who knows what would have happened?”

A senior officer later tested the panic button and confirmed it was not working, the court heard.

The prosecution claims Alid said he was motivated to get “revenge” for the Palestinian victims of Israel.

The jury has heard how Mr Nouri and Alid had previously fallen out about religion, and how Mr Nouri had converted to Christianity.

Alid denies murder, attempted murder and two counts of assaulting the detectives.

The trial was adjourned until Wednesday.

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