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St Albans Crown Court hears how Mohammed Yasin Khan was blasted with a shotgun and left for dead
A father was gunned down after a feud between two families culminated in a violent night raid on his family home in West Watford, a court has heard.
Mohammed Yasin Khan was shot through his bedroom door with a shotgun as he rushed to close it on the intruders.
The blast left him with a hole in his neck the size of a 50 pence piece and although he survived the attack, he has been left disabled.
This week, a jury at St Albans Crown Court heard the shooting was part of a plot to commit a murder at the home of Mr Khan and his family.
In the dock, five men – three from Watford and two from Luton – went on trial accused of being part of a conspiracy to commit murder.
The man alleged to have planned the murder, Fesar Khiaq, 27, of Yarmouth Road, Watford, in addition to denying the conspiracy to murder charge, also pleaded not guilty to two charges of making a threat to kill in the days leading up to the shooting in October 2011.
On trial with him are Anthony Francis, 30, who at the time was living in Charter Place, Watford, James Campbell, 23, of Wellington Street, Luton, Matthew Seddon, 28, also of Charter Place, Watford, and Alex Myers, 21, of Dumfries Street in Luton.
All four pleaded not guilty to a single charge of conspiring with each other and Khiaq and others unknown to commit murder.
As the trial opened on Monday, the court heard Khiaq recruited the others to carry out the attack after Mr Khan’s son, Ausman, had been acquitted of a charge of attempting to murder Khiaq’s older brother Abid Hussain.
Nicholas Dean QC, prosecuting, told the court that it was in the early hours of Thursday, October 27 when Campbell and Francis arrived at the house in Hodges Way.
Ausman had gone out for the evening and was not at home, but his father, Mohammed, was in bed and his sister, Rabia, was in her bedroom.
Shortly before 1am, the court was told, she was woken by a loud banging as if someone was trying to break down the front door.
Mr Dean said that was followed by the sound of footsteps running up the stairs and on the landing. The sister thought it sounded like two people, he said.
Someone tried to force open her door, but it was locked and the next thing she heard was a number of loud bangs followed by the sound of people running back down the stairs.
She made a 999 call but could not leave her room because one of the intruders had damaged the door and it would not open. Police arr-ived to find her father in his bedroom.
“Mohammed Yasin Khan was in his bedroom, shot and left for dead,” said Mr Dean. He said the father had been shot through his door and the blast had left a wound to the left side of his neck. There was also an injury to his left shoulder. Shotgun pellets were embedded in the wound as well as a bedroom wall.
One neighbour, who had been woken by the commotion, saw three people running from the property into nearby Jellicoe Road. They said one had been carrying a gun.
Moments later a vehicle, a Peugeot 206, which the prosecution claims was being driven by Seddon, was seen moving off, said Mr Dean.
The jury heard a firearms expert who examined the scene of the shooting concluded that the father had got out of bed and had gone to his bedroom door and as he tried to close it, had been shot through the door.
“The shooter had aimed for his head and chest and quite deliberately tried to kill Mr Khan,” said Mr Dean.
Mr Dean told the jury they would hear how on October 21, 2011, Mohammed Khan’s son, Ausman, was cleared at St Albans Crown Court of attempting to murder Abid Hussain.
The victim is the older brother of Fesar Khiaq – the man accused of orchestrating the attack on Mr Khan.
Mr Hussain had been attacked by a number of men at a block of flats in Tolpits Lane, Watford, in January 2011 and was stabbed and suffered a fractured skull. It had been alleged that Ausman Khan had been part of the group of attackers and had wielded a baseball bat.
At the trial, Mr Khan had given evidence for his son and said at the time of the attack he had been at the family home in Hodges Way.
Police carry out investigations at the house in Hodges Way, Watford.
While giving evidence, Mr Dean said details of the layout of the house were revealed including who slept where.
The prosecutor said the acquittal of Ausman Khan “sealed the feud between the two families”.
The jury was told on the day of his acquittal, the son was in Hagden Lane, Watford, when Khiaq is alleged to have pulled up alongside him in his red Audi A3, wound down the window to threaten him.
Mr Dean said Khiaq told the son he and his brothers would “rape and kill his mother and sister and kill his family”.
The following day, Khiaq had begun to “plan his revenge,” said the prosecutor.
A few days later, said Mr Dean, Khiaq saw Ausman Khan in Vicarage Road and told him: “I am going to kill you and your family. You will be having a visit very soon.”
The prosecutor added: “It was not intended to be an idle threat. Fesar Khiaq meant every vicious word he spoke.”
He said that between October 21 and 26 Khiaq had recruited James Campbell and Anthony Francis to carry out the shooting.
The jury was told Alex Myers had acted as an “intermediary” and been a go-between. Matthew Seddon was at some stage recruited as the alleged driver for the attack.
The jury was told Khiaq had spent the evening before the shooting in pubs and clubs in the centre of Watford to give him an alibi for the shooting.
The case continues.