Shopkeeper ‘sold cannabis to man accused of killing him’
Jaskaran Kang, 24, was stabbed to death at a flat in Stourbridge Road, Dudley
A shopkeeper had regularly dealt drugs to one of the men accused of killing him, a court heard.
Jaskaran Kang, 24, was stabbed to death at a flat in Stourbridge Road, Dudley , on January 6 last year.
Six men are currently on trial accused of killing him – Dontay Ellis, Michael Cunningham, James Peake, Joshua Campbell, Tyrone Johnson and Reggie Salmon.
Birmingham Crown Court heard how Mr Kang dealt cannabis from Dudley Wines and More – a shop run by his family – alongside his friend Alex Clarke and their customers allegedly included Salmon, who denies manslaughter.
Mr Clarke told the jury he knew of Salmon and had met him “a couple of times” in the shop, adding that both he and Mr Kang had sold the class B drug to him.
He said they kept the cannabis in a clear plastic box, hidden in the loft of one of the flats above the shop, which he stayed in with Mr Kang.
The night before he died, Mr Kang had “the flu or something along those lines”, according to Mr Clarke and had closed the shop at 10pm.
When Mr Clarke – who had gone to pick up his girlfriend, Capriest Timberlake, in a taxi – returned to the flat just after 2am on January 6, Mr Kang had been lying down on the sofa in the living room “half asleep”.
He told the jury he had been in the bedroom when he heard “loud bangs at the door” and when he peered out of the bedroom, he could see the front door was hanging off its hinges.
Mr Clarke said he quickly shut the door but it was soon opened by two masked males holding large knives.
The court was told that one of the men demanded: “Where’s the food?”
Mr Clarke said: “I was on the floor, I was scared for my life. I got up and went to retrieve the box from the loft.
“They were trying to usher me along. I could hear Jaskaran shouting ‘give them the food, give them the box’ – he was in the hallway – then I could hear him saying ‘chill, chill, chill, he’s going to give it you’.
“They had a knife to my waist as I was hanging from the loft getting the drugs.
“I gave them the box and I was asked ‘where’s the cash?’
“I said there was no cash.”
When the men were satisfied there was no cash, they left clutching the box of cannabis, the court heard.
“I could hear them go downstairs,” Mr Clarke continued.
“I went outside the front door to look for Jaskaran.”
He broke down in tears as he relived the moment he found his friend “leaning against the wall, bleeding everywhere”, adding: “It was very, very bad.”
As he called 999, he lay Mr Kang on a bed in a vacant flat and tried to give him first aid before paramedics arrived.
“I did the best I could,” he said.
The court heard that Mr Kang was unresponsive when police and paramedics arrived due to the amount of blood he had lost.
He was pronounced dead at 2.52am.
Joshua Campbell, 18, of King Edmond Street, Dudley, Dontay Ellis, 19, of Central Drive, Lower Gornal, Michael Cunningham, 18, of Newcastle under Lyme, and James Peake, 18, from Southgate Way, Dudley, deny murder.
Reggie Salmon, 21, of Stourbridge Road, Dudley, and Tyrone Johnson, 21, of Malthouse Drive, Dudley, deny manslaughter.
All six men are also accused of conspiracy to commit robbery.
The trial continues.