LITTLE HARROWDEN MURDER TRIAL: Driver’s mother says Ghilani would ‘harass’ her son

Mother of co-accused tells court the man who accepts stabbing Stevie Pentelow was a dominant character

By Phoebe Radford
Friday, 14th February 2020, 1:25 pm
Updated Friday, 14th February 2020, 1:26 pm

The mother of a man charged with conspiring to rob and with the murder of Stevie Pentelow has told Northampton Crown Court on Tuesday that one of the other defendants would “harass” her son.

Christine Thomas, mother of Levar Thomas said she knew Sifean Ghilani because he had been at school with Levar and they were friends.

Mrs Thomas told the court: “In my opinion, Sifean is a very dominant character.

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Levar Thomas' mum said Sifean Ghilani was a dominant character

“I would go as far as to say that he would harass Levar.”

Thomas told the court that Ghilani threatened him with a knife after the attack on Stevie Pentelow and told him to “drive, just ******* drive.”

Giving evidence, Ghilani told the court: “I said ‘just ******* drive.”

However he denies threatening or ordering Levar, who he said was his best friend at the time, and said: “How can I order my best friend to do something? He will do what he wants to do, like he always has done.”

Asked if he had threatened Thoman, Ghilani said: “Yeah, that’s not true.”

The two men both went to Wrenn School in Wellingborough, where Thomas was in the year above Ghilani.

Thomas told the court he and Ghilani, who lived in the street above his, did not spend a lot of time together when they were at school but did continue to have contact with him once he left aged 16.

Describing how she knew Sifean Ghilani, Mrs Thomas said: “Sifean would come to the house quite often.

“Levar would often tell me to tell Sifean he wasn’t there.”

When asked why, she said: “Because he didn’t want to see him.”

Levar Thomas passed his driving test in January 2019 and said he started driving Sifean Ghilani around to sell drugs “at the start of last year.”

He told the court that Sophie Hughes, a drug user who set up the fateful June drug deal between Ghilani and Mr Pentelow, would “contact Sifean to buy drugs and I would drive the car”.

Thomas said Sifean would be in the car most of the times when Sophie Hughes bought drugs, but there were “a couple of times,” when it was just him.

Thomas said: “He (Ghilani) would be busy.

“He would ask me to deliver the drugs for him.”

Thomas told the court Ghilani would pay him £100 for a day of driving him around as well as some petrol money.

Mrs Thomas told Ghilani’s barrister, Mr Naeem Mian QC, that she did not know her son was deriving an income from drug dealing.

Thomas denies ever making arrangements or negotiating the prices for a drugs deal and said he has never had a second ‘drugs’ phone.

Ghilani has pleaded guilty to a count of supplying Class A drugs and told the court: “Obviously I used to see drugs and Levar was my partner, so he would do the same thing with me.”

Asked what he meant by ‘partner’, Ghilani said: “Basically we were equal. Whatever we did, we did together, we decided together.”

When describing the events of June 21, Ghilani said: “I contacted Sophie and asked her if she knew anybody that could get me drugs and she suggested Stevie Pentelow.

“Obviously I needed a lift and whenever I need a lift, I ring Levar.”

Ghilani said he had the money and he negotiated the price with Sophie, which they reduced from £1,500 to £1,450 because the drugs Mr Pentelow sold Ghilani in January were slightly underweight.

Mr Mian asked his client: “You have the money, you arranged with Sophie Hughes, in what way is Levar Thomas your partner?”

Ghilani replied: “We are equal. During the day, especially early morning, Levar is never awake so I took care of things in the morning, so to speak.”

Asked at what stage Levar Thomas came into the arrangements, Ghilani said: “He will give me a lift.”

He also said Thomas would help him break up drugs into individual deals and they would share profits “half half”.

The trial continues.