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Jaskaran Kang murder case: Stab teenager 'lied about drug debt'

By Marion Brennan | Dudley | Crime | Published:

A teenager has been accused of lying about a drug debt that he claimed led him to take part in a robbery in which a shopkeeper was stabbed to death.

Jaskaran Kang

Dontay Ellis, 19, could have sold some of his expensive designer clothes to settle the outstanding £200 debt he allegedly owed to a drug dealer, suggested Mr Paul Lewis, QC.

Ellis had told the jury he was wearing a Canada Goose jacket, worth several hundred pounds, True Religion jeans, a Hugo Boss T-shirt and Nike trainers on the night that Jaskaran Kang, 24, was murdered in the flat above his convenience store in Stourbridge Road, Dudley.

The jury had also heard that Ellis felt under pressure to take part in the robbery as a way of paying off his dealer after a window at his grandmother's house, where he lived, had been allegedly smashed as a threat.

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Mr Lewis, defending co-defendant James Peake, asked: "So you were afraid of him because he might take it out on your family?" Ellis replied that he was.

"But you were wearing a jacket that cost more than the debt was worth, as well as expensive jeans and trainers, and a designer T-shirt. You could have sold some of these.

"It's just not true to say 'I was in debt'. You're using the claim of fear to excuse your behaviour," said Mr Lewis.

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Ellis' jacket could not be found by police investigating the murder, although his blood-stained trainers were discovered at a friend's house in Shadwell Drive, Lower Gornal, where he spent the night after the robbery, the court heard.

Mr Lewis suggested the jacket had gone up in flames in the stolen car used in the robbery which was found burnt out near The Crooked House pub in Dudley the following day.

And he claimed the only reason that Ellis's trainers were not disposed of was because they were black and the blood staining was not noticeable. Ellis replied 'I disagree' to both allegations.

The defendant insisted he did not carry a Zombie knife to the victim's flat in Stourbridge Road, Dudley, and did not know his accomplices were armed and carried masks.

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He said it was not until they were back in the car after the robbery that he realised anyone had been knifed when he was accused of carrying out the stabbing by one of his co-defendants.

The gang got away with a stash of cannabis that Mr Kang stored in his loft and sold in the shop.

Ellis, of Central Drive, Lower Gornal; Michael Cunningham, 19, of Coalway Road, Wolverhampton; Joshua Campbell, 18, of King Edmund Street, Dudley; and Peake, 18, of Southgate Way, Dudley plead not guilty to murder.

Tyrone Johnson, 21, of Malthouse Drive, Dudley, denies manslaughter.

Cunningham and Peake have admitted conspiracy to rob; the others deny the charge. The case continues.

Marion Brennan

By Marion Brennan
@Marion_EStar

News and features reporter, specialising in human interest and local history stories.

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