Killer denies murdering asylum seeker in Knowle after drunken binge
Killer denies murdering asylum seeker in Knowle after drunken binge on grounds of diminished responsibility
Pictured: Kamil Ahmed, and police at the house in Wells Road shortly after he was killed on July 7, 2016
WARNING: This is a longer account of the court case than the one which appears on our Facebook page. It contains details which some readers may find upsetting.
A MENTALLY ill man living in supported housing in Wells Road murdered one of his housemates less than 12 hours after he was discharged from a psychiatric hospital, Bristol Crown Court was told today (Tuesday October 3).
Jeffery Barry, 56, killed Kamil Ahmed, an Iraqi asylum seeker, with several stab wounds and then mutilated his body at the house run by the Milestones housing group.
Barry had been warning that he wanted to kill someone for several months. He had named Kamil Ahmed as “top of my list” of targets and had made false accusations that Mr Ahmed was a rapist, a terrorist and a benefits cheat.
About an hour before the killing, Barry called a community psychiatric nurse on a mental health crisis line, saying he was insane and would not be responsible for his actions.
No action was taken. At 2.16am on July 7, 2016, Barry dialled 999 from the phone in the hall of the house, 246 Wells Road, to tell the operator he had killed Mr Ahmed.
Barry denies a charge of murder but admits manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
Barry went on a drunken binge soon after he was released from the Cygnet hospital in Kewstoke on the afternoon of July 6.
The court was told the went first to Charlie’s bar in Wells Road, Knowle, where it appears he bought one drink at about 7.35pm, then left for the Long Bar in Old Market. There he had about six drinks before returning to 246 Wells Road just before midnight.
CCTV in the hallway caught Barry phoning a mental health crisis line at about 1am, according to a timeline presented to the court by prosecutor Adam Vaitilingam QC. He was then dressed in just his pants. He ended the call at 1.26am, entered his flat on the ground floor and reappeared three minutes later, now wearing trousers and with a knife in his pocket.
Mr Ahmed lived on the second floor opposite another resident, Anthony Brink.
In video evidence shown to the court, Mr Brink said he heard Barry knocking at his door at about 1.30am. Mr Brink established who it was, and told Barry to go away as he wanted to sleep. Then he heard a knock at another door, and someone saying, “Oh no, it’s you.”
it was followed by sounds of a desperate fight, with noises of rushing, punches being thrown and screaming, which lasted for up to 15 minutes, Mr Brink said.
Terrified, Mr Brink stayed in his room. Towards the end of the fight he said he heard noises like someone was being strangled, but each time they seemed to recover.
“Then there was quiet,” said Mr Brink. “I thought it had all blown over, I thought both parties were still alive. But I knew it had been a very severe beating.”
Barry, however, was still in Mr Ahmed’s flat. He did not emerge until 2.15am, and a minute later made his 999 call.
Two PCs arrived six minutes later to find Barry shirtless and covered in blood. He told them he had killed someone. Upstairs, they found Mr Ahmed lifeless and covered in blood. He had a large wound to his left arm. He appeared to have been mutilated; his penis had been cut off.
Mr Vaitilingam said that pathologist Amanda Jeffery had found “many knife wounds on the body”. At least 25 injuries had been made to the face and eyes.
Death was caused by three major stab wounds to his stomach, right upper arm and left wrist.
Mr Ahmed had been mutilated after he was killed, according to the pathologist.
After finding Mr Ahmed dead, the officers put Barry in a police car and began to drive towards Keynsham police station, where there is a custody suite.
But Barry began to attack the police officer who was with him on the back seat and the officers quickly decided to summon a police van to carry their prisoner.
At Keynsham, a custody officer noticed that Barry had cuts on both hands, one of them quite deep. He was taken to the RUH hospital in Bath for treatment and returned to Keynsham police station later in the morning.
Examined the next afternoon by a mental health practitioner, Angie Sim, he told her he was “insane” after taking drink and drugs, and had called the mental health crisis line, “but they didn’t believe me”.
The trial of Jeffery Barry will hear from psychiatrists for the prosecution who believe that he was responsible for his actions when he killed Mr Ahmed, and psychiatrists for the defence who will say that he was in the grip of delusions.
Outlining the case, prosecutor Adam Vaitilingam QC said both sides accepted that Barry suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, “but they disagree about whether he was suffering from it when he left the Cygnet hospital on July 6, and when he killed Kamil Ahmed a few hours later, in the early hours or July 7.”
Barry had lived at 246 Wells Road for five years, and Mr Ahmed for two. Barry had been racist towards Mr Ahmed. He had phoned police telling them that Mr Ahmed was “a benefits cheat, a rapist and a terrorist”. He had assaulted Mr Ahmed and had “on several occasions” made threats to kill him.
Anthony Brink, a fellow resident at 246 Wells Road, told police that Barry and Ar Ahmed avoided each other. He never saw them argue, but Barry would tell him Mr Brink that Mr Ahmed was a “Paki”, saying, “He’s just using the system.”
Barry had “a twisted mind” and “a perverted nature”, said Mr Brink. Barry had a collection of pornographic DVDs and “seemed to be obsessed with sexual things.”
Barry also alleged that Mr Ahmed had forced himself sexually on a female resident of the house.
Barry himself was attracted to this woman and he told his brother that he hated Kamil because of this, Mr Vaitilingham told the court.
When Barry talked about Mr Ahmed he was “totally deadpan”. Even when saying that Mr Ahmed had forced himself on the female resident, he said it in passing, “like it was nothing,” said Mr Brink.
Mr Ahmed was seeking asylum when he was killed. He had lived in Bristol for five years after arriving from Iraq. He escaped with more than a dozen members of his family, all Kurds from the city of Kirkuk, a community persecuted by the former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussain.
Mr Ahmed is though to have been tortured by the Hussain regime. In Bristol, he helped other asylum seekers by working as a interpreter for Bristol Refugee Rights.
Like Jeffery Barry, he occupied one of eight flats at 246 Wells Road, on the corner of Beaconsfield Road, a supported house for people with mental health difficulties run by the Milestones Trust.
“He was a cheeky chap,” fellow resident Anthony Brink told police. He had a dry sense of humour, was a “mature man who stands on his own feet,” and a “normal guy, nothing out of the ordinary”.
The trial is expected to last up to two weeks.
Separately, a serious case review by the city’s adult safeguarding board is examining any lessons to be learned from the case. It will involve Bristol city council’s social services department, the police and the NHS. It is not expected to report until the New Year or later.