LITTLE HARROWDEN MURDER TRIAL: “That’s when I said, ‘I've stabbed him’.”

Drug dealer admits he stabbed Stevie Pentelow and carries knives, but it was not his blade that killed the victim

Wednesday, 12th February 2020, 12:30 pm
Updated Wednesday, 12th February 2020, 12:43 pm

A man charged with the murder of Stevie Pentelow has told Northamptonshire Crown Court that he accepts he stabbed the victim and that he carries knives, but he did not intend to kill or injure the 44-year-old drug dealer.

Sifean Ghilani, 20, of Winstanley Road, Wellingborough, questioned by his barrister Mr Naeem Mian QC, told the court he accepted he stabbed Stevie Pentelow but he had found the knife when he got out the car after he saw his friend, co-defendant Tristan Patel, get into a fight with Mr Pentelow.

Ghilani said: “I saw Tristan get out and I look back and I see that, basically, when you meet someone, you give them like a fistbump sort of thing, that’s what Tristan went to do with Stevie.

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Stevie Pentelow was killed in Little Harrowden in June 2019

“I am not sure what happened, I was looking back this way, they must have started fighting I’m not sure how it started but I see the fight and that’s when I get out the car.

“I got out of the car and I saw a knife on the floor and obviously my friend Tristan has been stabbed before quite badly so I wanted to pick the knife up so nobody used it.”

Ghilani said he did not know how the knife got there or whose knife it was.

The defendant also accepted that he is a knife carrier and has two previous convictions for carrying offensive weapons.

In January 2017 he was found in possession of a flick knife and in September 2017 he was found in possession of an Anglo Arms lock knife, which was found in the cuff of his tracksuit trousers.

Asked by Mr Mian why he carries knives, Ghilani, who has pleaded guilty to a count of supplying Class A drugs, said there are two reasons: “Obviously, as I mentioned before I am a drug dealer so I carry it for protection.

“From other dealers and also customers like they will try and steal the drugs we have got.”

However Ghilani told the court he had never had cause to use a knife and had never had cause to threaten anyone with a knife.

For the second reason he carries knives, Ghilani said: “Obviously I used to sell crack and it used to come in bigger bits, like say a tennis ball, for example.

“I used my knife to cut it down into the little deals to sell.”

Mr Mian asked Ghilani: “Did you have a knife with you on June 21?”.

Ghilani said: “Yes, I did.”

Ghilani said: “I carry flick and lock knives because they are easier to conceal.”

Asked why he said he does not carry kitchen knives, Ghilani said: “Well obviously it would cut into the side of you.

“To put it in your waistband, there’s nowhere to clip it.

“It’s not practical.”

June 21

Ghilani said he was in Little Harrowden on June 21 to buy an ounce of crack cocaine and half an ounce of heroin from Mr Pentelow in a deal that had been organised by himself and Sophie Hughes, who previously gave evidence.He was with co-defendants Levar Thomas, who had driven the group to the village, Tristan Patel, a 16-year-old, and Sophie Hughes, who left the vehicle to meet Mr Pentelow.

Ghilani had bought drugs from Mr Pentelow six months before, also in Little Harrowden, and said he expected the deal to be the same.

Describing the January deal, which was for the same amount of drugs, Ghilani said: “Babs (Mr Pentelow’s nickname) came towards the car he came in the car which I then gave him the money for the drugs and he then told me two minutes and I will be back.

“Me and Levar in the back when they came back to the car. Babs came into the back with me and Levar.”

He said that was when Mr Pentelow handed over the drugs and this was how a deal normally worked.

Describing the deal in June, Ghilani said: “As I see Stevie approaching the car, I turn to Tristan and I ask him to leave the car because we are doing something illegal and I assume Stevie will do what he did last time and jump in the car.”

It was at this point that Ghilani said the fight broke out between Tristan Patel and Mr Pentelow.

Ghilani said: “When I was aware that Tristan and Stevie were fighting I got out of the car.

“I get out the car and that’s when I see the knife on left hand side of me...and I picked the knife up because I didn’t want anyone to get hurt with the knife and I see that Stevie Pentelow seen that I have the knife.

“Obviously I see he had his desperados bottle in his hand… and the way I was getting up he was going to hit me with that bottle so I have stopped and come close to Stevie Pentelow and we have body slammed off each other.”

Ghilani said it was not until he was in the car that he realised Stevie Pentelow had been stabbed.

“I know I had the knife in my hand but I wasn’t aware that Stevie Pentelow had been stabbed,” he said.

Once they were in the car, Ghilani said: “That’s when I said, ‘I've stabbed him’.

“Obviously I seen the knife...and there was blood on the knife so I realised I had to have stabbed him.

“It wasn’t me that was bleeding.”

Ghilani continued: “Levar shouted at me, he (was) shouting ‘Why did you stab him?’ but I didn’t even know I had stabbed him.

Sifean Ghilani said: “And then because everyone was shouting and that, I said, ‘Just ******* drive’.”

Ghilani denied ordering Levar Thomas or threatening him when he said this.

“When we set off, the knife was in my hand, it was in my lap and I’m hearing them in the back and hearing him moaning at me and that’s when I wiped the knife.

“I threw it out the window, I didn’t know what to do, I just thought I need to get rid of this knife.”

Ghilani told the court he had never stabbed anyone before and never hurt anyone before. He also said he has no convictions for violence.

The trial continues.