LITTLE HARROWDEN MURDER TRIAL: 'They ambushed him within seconds'

Three men and a 16-year-old boy are on trial for the murder of Stevie Pentelow in June

Wednesday, 29th January 2020, 1:15 pm

Three men and a 16-year-old boy are said to have killed Stevie Pentelow, 44, in Little Harrowden on June 21, 2019, in an attack that lasted just seconds.

Sifean Ghilani, 20, of Winstanley Road, Wellingborough, Tristan Patel, 18, of Newcomen Road, Wellingborough, Levar Thomas, 20, of Knox Road, Wellingborough, and a 16-year-old boy from Wellingborough are all charged with conspiracy to rob Stevie Pentelow of Class A drugs and with his murder.

Ghilani and Patel are also charged with supplying class A drugs to others.

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Stevie Pentelow was murdered in Little Harrowden on June 21, 2019

All four have pleaded not guilty.

Northampton Crown Court heard yesterday (Tuesday) from Mr David Herbert QC, prosecuting, that Ghilani fatally stabbed Mr Pentelow in an attack that lasted just seconds at about 8.30pm that evening.

The jury were shown CCTV which captured Mr Pentelow walking from Hardwick Road towards the defendants' car, a black Peugeot 208 owned and driven by Levar Thomas, which was in Main Street.

The car was just obscured from view in the footage, which then showed three men running out just seconds after Mr Pentelow had approached.

Describing the CCTV, Mr Herbert said: "They ambushed him within seconds of arriving to the scene.

"We suggest that Pentelow, Ghilani and Patel ran out and then two run back and then the Peugeot drove off.

"All that happened within 30 seconds."

Mr Herbert said a witness reported seeing Stevie Pentelow trying to defend himself from a group of three men, who the prosecution argue was Ghilani, Patel and the 16-year-old boy.

Thomas remained in his car and drove off at speed when the others ran back to the vehicle.

Stevie Pentelow died later that day from a single stab wound.

Mr Herbert said: "The night he was murdered, Stevie Pentelow believed he was about to supply Class A drugs to one of the defendants, Sifean Ghilani, who travelled to Little Harrowden to meet him.

"He was a Class A drugs dealer in Wellingborough, where he lived.

"Sifean Ghilani had purchased drugs from the deceased, Stevie Pentelow, a few months before in January 2019 and made arrangements to purchase more on June 21.

"However, Sifean Ghilani took his co-defendants with him to the meeting because he had other plans. It was not a straightforward drugs deal he had in mind. The group went to Little Harrowden planning to rob (Stevie Pentelow), which is why Ghilani armed himself with a knife."

The men were also with Sophie Hughes, 28, of Faraday Court, Thrapston, a drug user who knew both Ghilani and Pentelow and had bought drugs from them, set up the deal between the two men after Ghilani asked her for help in sourcing heroin and crack cocaine to a value of £1,500.

In the CCTV footage shown to the jury, Hughes can be seen walking to meet Mr Pentelow and then returning with him to the vehicle just before the attack.

Hughes was originally arrested and charged with the murder of Mr Pentelow but evidence since found proved she had acted as the go between for Ghilani and Mr Pentelow and was not involved in the alleged conspiracy to rob or murder Mr Pentelow.

On January 15, she pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs between January and June 2019 and is currently in custody.

Giving evidence, Sophie Hughes said when she approached the vehicle on June 21 with Stevie Pentelow: "Tristan got out the car very quickly and he had a knife in his hand.

"He went to stab Stevie in the stomach."

She said Patel made stabbing motions with a knife which she said had a jagged edge.

Tristan Patel denies being armed with a knife.

Stevie Pentelow died from a single stab wound and a knife was found with his blood stains on it in the Great Harrowden area.

Mr Herbert said: "There is no dispute that Stevie Pentelow was stabbed with a knife during this attack and it was Sifean Ghilani that stabbed him.

"He now accepts he did have a knife during the incident."

Despite the deal being arranged, Mr Herbert argued there was no attempt to carry out the deal and said: "They planned to steal the drugs by force.

"Collecting drugs that night from Stevie Pentelow did not require four men along with Sophie Hughes.

"The numbers Ghilani took with him speaks for itself, as does their actions as soon as Pentelow arrived at the seen."

The trial continues.