Alleged murderer was 'vulnerable to manipulation' defence claims in Cameron Hill case
- Credit: Archant
The defence team of Christy Bishop, who was charged with murder after Cameron Hill died of stab wounds in Hatfield, has claimed there are several mitigating factors that the jury should consider.
At Cambridge Crown Court last Wednesday, Ms Bishop's legal team agreed with the prosecution that she had been a drug addict since she was a teenager and also at the time of Cameron's death in June 2019.
The court also heard the 38-year-old, of St Peter's Close, had physical issues after being hit by a car in 2010 and mental health issues. Rosina Cottage, for the defence, said this made Ms Bishop "vulnerable to manipulation by others".
Ms Cottage agreed with the prosecution that on June 10, 2019, several men arrived at Ms Bishop's flat wanting to speak to Cameron, and claimed that Ms Bishop was already in contact with Cameron when the men arrived.
She also claimed that Ms Bishop knew these men to be 'Jo Jo', a man identified by the prosecution as the drug gang leader Saleh Alhindi, who has fled the country, and Nicholas Pitts, of Stockbreach Road, who is also charged with murder.
"They said he was not going to be hurt," Ms Cottage added. "Ms Bishop did not tell the truth as she was scared and frightened she would be blamed."
David Jeremy, representing Mr Pitts, outlined that the defence will demonstrate his client, who is now 40 and has a "long-standing addiction" to heroin and crack cocaine, was used by Mr Alhindi.
"He was dependent on Alhindi for drugs," he said. "He drove [Mr Alhindi] to Christy Bishop's flat and he knew when he did that that Alhindi had a knife with him."
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But Mr Jeremy claims this was not "unusual" behaviour for Mr Alhindi and added that Mr Pitts had a screwdriver "for his own protection".
"But he did not take part in the attack or threaten anyone in the flat."
Daniel Bentley, representing Arnold Masumbundu, of Lyme Farm Road, London, also charged with murder, said his client was a dealer at the time. But when Mr Masumbundu was 18 Mr Bentley claims he "was not there in the early hours of June 10". And his defence adds the now 20-year-old was "not one of the males that attacked and stabbed" Cameron.
And the court heard that Mr Masumbundu's fingerprint, which the prosecution claims was found in the flat, was because he stayed there on June 5 when he was dealing drugs in the town.
The court also heard from James Curtis, speaking for one of the other accused murderers Najiib Hasan, 24, of Queen Adelaide Court, London. The defence went over the prosecution's case and said they would be challenging the evidence of an eye witness, the significance of the pathologist's testimony and fingerprint.
Meanwhile the defence team of Nickell Moore, of Between Street, Cobham, Surrey agreed the 25-year-old was there and has been "chilling out" with Mr Hasan and alleged murderers and fugitives Suber Ismael and Mr Alhindi.
It is claimed by his defence team that Mr Moore left before Cameron arrived and accepts he lied to police about being in Hatfield. But his defence team claims that he was not involved in the murder of Cameron and did not know any attack was going to happen.
The court also heard Mr Moore was not there when Cameron was stabbed.
Jason Gilzean, 53, of Campion Road, Hatfield also denies two counts of assisting an offender but claims he knew Mr Alhindi, known to him as "Sizzler", through his use of drugs.
A video of an interview with a female witness, who is claimed to have been there when Cameron sustained stab wounds, was also played to the court.
This woman claims she was there as several men arrived at St Peter's Close on June 10, 2019.
The men, the court heard, were all black apart from Mr Pitts, who she recognised. She went on to say they asked her to call Cameron, but did not say she was threatened.
Ms Bishop rang instead, the woman claims, after the promise of drugs - and when the 23-year-old from North Mymms arrived the group allegedly attacked him. She claims to have heard Cameron say: "Stop it. Can we talk about it?
She added: "One said 'he had enough now'."
The trial continues.