Stabbed teenager ‘ran for his life’ before collapsing, court hears

A teenager who racked up a shared £20,000 drug debt was stabbed in broad daylight near Brighton train station, a court has heard.

Mustafa Momand was knifed through the breast bone and managed to run for 150 metres with blood “squirting” from the wound before he staggered and collapsed on October 5 2023.

According to eyewitnesses the 17-year-old, who was beginning his A-Levels, appeared to be “running for his life” on Queens Road while his attacker followed him, yelling: “‘I’m going to f***ing get you.”

A 16-year-old boy from Southwick accused of murdering Mustafa is on trial at Brighton Crown Court.

Opening the case, prosecutor Nathan Rasiah KC said: “As they came together, the defendant pulled his knife out and attacked Mustafa, stabbing him in the chest, using a level of force so severe that the knife penetrated through the breast bone.

“Mustafa was able to run … The defendant chased after him, still brandishing the knife, shouting things such as ‘get back here’.

“The truth is that he had already killed him. He had already inflicted a fatal injury on Mustafa.”

The court on Tuesday heard that the defendant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was first arrested for attempted murder, but when Mustafa was pronounced dead at Royal Sussex County Hospital at 6.40pm, he was re-arrested on suspicion of murder.

Mr Rasiah said the defendant “smiled” in reaction to this and said: “It shouldn’t have been an AM (attempted murder), should have been a murder.”

The prosecutor said it appears the pair knew each other, and the attack was most likely related to a drug debt.

Jurors heard how Mustafa was described as a “cheeky chap” and “one of the lads” by his youth worker.

He had moved to the UK from Afghanistan with his family in 2009 when he was three years old, and in late 2021 his mother found cannabis in his room and suspected he was using or dealing drugs.

When Mustafa turned 16, things “got worse” and his behaviour changed, his parents found weapons in his pockets and he went missing for days on occasion, coming back with valuable items or injuries, the court heard.

Jurors were told in November 2022, Mustafa told his father he was in debt and needed £8,000 or “they will kill me”.

The teenager “cried and pleaded” until his father managed to give him some money.

His dad got him a job in a chicken shop, and he would wait outside for Mustafa who told him he was scared the people who he owed money to would find him there.

Eventually, Mustafa was moved out of the area to a care home in Croydon in April 2023.

While living there he registered to begin a two-year A-Level course in Business and Law and went shopping with his mother for new clothes for college in Brighton on September 23.

On the trip to Churchill shopping centre, Mustafa was shocked and “shaken” to bump into someone and was surrounded by a group of young men who let him go, because he was with his mother.

His mother recalled a phone call Mustafa received in the car afterwards to tell him to run.

Less than two weeks later on October 5, Mustafa travelled from Croydon to Brighton Magistrates’ Court for an appearance in relation to drug offences.

He left court alone, while his youth worker was using the bathroom, and was walking in the direction of Brighton train station, on Queens Road.

The court heard the defendant had caught a train from Southwick to Brighton, and was seen putting a glove on as he was walking down Queens Road.

The pair are seen coming into contact on bus CCTV footage at around 5pm, when the city centre was busy, and lots of people saw the attack, or parts of it, Mr Rasiah said.

The prosecutor said the 16-year-old defendant accepts that it was him and that he had a knife, but “denies having the necessary intent for murder”.

The teenager is also accused of two other separate incidents in July and August 2023 of threatening another with a bladed article and offensive weapon, which he denies.

The trial continues.

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