A 25-year-old man was ‘ambushed’ and stabbed to death by alleged killers on mountain bikes out of revenge for a £40 drug debt, a court has heard.
Richard Hardy suffered multiple stab wounds in the ‘ferocious’ attack which happened in a residential area of Farnborough in ‘broad daylight’ on the afternoon of January 26.
Leroy Bosha, 27, of Aldwick Close, Farnborough; Hashim Siddique, 20, and his brother, Qasan Siddique, 22, both of Fintry Walk, Farnborough; and Omar Goodridge, 21, of Montgomery Way, Portsmouth, are all on trial charged with murder and an alternative charge of manslaughter.
A fifth defendant, Luther Archibald, 32, of Totland Close, Farnborough, has been found unfit to stand trial, and the jury at Portsmouth Crown Court has been tasked with establishing if he committed the offences.
Nigel Lickley QC, prosecuting, said that the Siddique brothers ran a drugs supply business named with the initials RJ, selling heroin and crack cocaine.
He said that Mr Hardy had arranged to purchase £20 worth of each of the drugs but had run off on a previous occasion without paying, leading the Siddique brothers to plot their revenge over the ‘slight’ they had suffered.
Mr Lickley said: ‘The brothers reacted to that (by) offering rewards if Richard Hardy was “smacked up”. He was told he was being looked for and would not get away.
‘So a plot was made for a sum of about £40. This was not a spur-of-the moment action, it was clearly thought out.’
Mr Lickley said that the five defendants met at a play park before Bosha and Archibald went to meet Mr Hardy, who they had contacted by phone.
Bosha then sent a text message to the other three, who were on brightly-coloured mountain bikes, informing them of his current location with the victim and Archibald, Mr Lickley said.
The prosecutor said that some of the incident was captured on CCTV, but the actual stabbing took place in a blind spot, which the defendants might have been aware of.
He said: "Richard Hardy walked along unaware of what was going to happen. The other three on their bikes with their hoods up followed each other at some speed.
"It amounted to an ambush. They dropped their bikes, disappeared from view and in a few seconds reappeared and cycled away.
"In those few seconds the attack was started and finished. All five defendants were present, and that's not in dispute."
Mr Lickley said it was a ‘ferocious attack on a defenceless man’, with Mr Hardy suffering multiple stab wounds including one where the knife went through his arm and into his chest, ‘fixing his arm to his body’.
The victim's family said in a statement released through police after his death: ‘Richard was a much-loved son and brother who will be massively missed by many. Our hearts are broken.’