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Aamir Siddiqi Trial: Businessman Met Killer In Park

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SWANSEA CROWN COURT
Ben Hope and Jason Richards both deny murder | Alamy

A businessman who ordered a hit on a man who owed him money took his children to a park as cover to meet one of the killers, a court was told.

Schoolboy Aamir Siddiqi, 17, was murdered in a mafia-style slaying on his doorstep in Cardiff, South Wales, the next day.

The bungling hit men went to the wrong address in a fatal mix-up, stabbing the teenager to death in April 2010, the court has previously heard.

His frantic parents fought to save their son but were knifed themselves as the men loudly howled as they stabbed the teenager.

Ben Hope, 39, and Jason Richards, 38, both heroin addicts, are on trial at Swansea Crown Court each accused of murder.

Both men are also each accused of two separate counts of attempted murder on the victim's parents. They deny all charges.

The jury watched CCTV footage today which painstakingly pieced together the movements of Richards in the days before the murder.

Police took eight-and-a-half years' worth of video footage representing hundreds of hours of recordings from Cardiff's large CCTV network, Patrick Harrington QC, prosecuting, told the court.

The jury began watching several hours of images showing Richards walking the streets of Cardiff and taking taxis to and from home.

Both Richards and Hope are alleged to have been paid £1,000 each to murder Cardiff family man Mohammed Tanhai.

He is said to have been the intended target of the contract killing because he owed the businessman £50,000.

The businessman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, gave Mr Tanhai the cash over 18 months in part-payment for a property.

When Mr Tanhai pushed for a proper settlement of the deal the businessman pulled out and learned the cash had all been spent.

Mr Tanhai and his family were forced to move into a police safe house at one point due to fears for their safety.

He escaped death after a contract was placed on his life only because the hit men allegedly went to the wrong address by mistake.

Among the footage shown today were images of a "dark-skinned man" with two children meeting in a park with a man who arrives on foot.

The meeting, taking place on 10 April in a Cardiff park, is one day before the murder of the teenage schoolboy.

Neither individual in the video footage is identified specifically from the images.

The sequence was presented to the jury as significant and showed a car associated with the businessman arriving and leaving the park.

Two children are seen to get out at the arrival of one car and accompany the dark-skinned man in the Cardiff park.

He meets the man who arrives on foot and they remain in the park together for 15 minutes.

Mr Harrington said there would be two weeks of CCTV footage linked to evidence from mobile phones allegedly belonging to Richards and Hope.

The trial, which is scheduled to run for six months, was adjourned until Tuesday.