Willowbraes murder trial told of gunshots

Police closed off the area after the incident. Picture: Joey Kelly
Police closed off the area after the incident. Picture: Joey Kelly
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A TAXI driver has told a murder trial it was like something out of the movies when he heard three loud bangs in a leafy Edinburgh street.

Mohammed Irfan, 34, from Edinburgh, told the High Court in Glasgow: “I never thought it would be happening here. It was like something you hear in the movies I couldn’t believe it would be shots. I heard three loud bangs, which I found out the next day were shots.

Mr Irfan was giving evidence at the trial of Mohamud Mohamud, 30, Ahmed Ahmed, 28, Cadil Huseen, 23 , Hussein Ali, 26, Liban Ahmed – also known as Jama, 30, Said Fadal, 32, and Said Tarabi, 27, who deny murdering 25-year-old Mohamed Abdi in the Duddingston area of Edinburgh on May 26, last year.

He was asked by advocate depute Iain McSporran, prosecutor: “How far apart were the bangs spaced,” and Mr Irfan replied: “It was like continuous for one or two seconds. I asked my passenger if he had heard them, but he was drunk.”

Butcher Colin McKirdy, 44, from Prestonpans, told the jury that he was driving near Abercorn Avenue, Edinburgh, at around 1am when he heard what he thought were gunshots.

Mr McKirdy said: “I heard one bang then a couple of bangs, then I said to myself, ‘that sounded like a gun’. I used to do shooting years ago and you kind of know. To me it was a gun.”

The butcher said he stopped his car near Abercorn Avenue and could see someone lying in the street.

Mr McKirdy added: “I was very wary and got back in my car and drove down the road and phoned 999.”

Another witness, 24-year-old Paul Coleman from Edinburgh said he was driving along Willowbrae Road when he came across what looked like a car accident.

He said there was one car in the middle of Abercorn Avenue and another embedded in railings beside the tennis club.

Mr Coleman said he saw a number of black men running about and revealed that one of them was carrying a knife and another a baseball bat.

He added: “I heard a sound like a gun, but I wasn’t loud. I just thought it was a machine gun because I’ve heard it on TV before.”

Mr McSporran asked Mr Coleman: “Was there anything else going on when you heard the gunfire,” and he replied: “A lot of screaming. I saw people running about screaming. I was in shock.”

The jury has already heard that Mr Abdi was shot three times and died from a wound to his chest.

It is alleged that the seven accused repeatedly fired a sub-machine pistol and a revolver after a car chase along Duddingston Road West, Willowbrae Road and Abercorn Avenue.

The seven are accused of forcing the car occupied by Mr Abdi, Mohamed Farah and Abdulrakim Abdulrahman to stop by colliding with it and repeatedly shooting at the occupants, murdering Mr Adbi and attempting to murder the other two men.

Mohamud and the others are also accused of assault, of being concerned in the supply of cocaine and firearms charges.

All seven deny all the charges against them.

The trial before judge Lord Turnbull continues.