New lead in cold case, 13 years after death-plunge from St Albans tower block
PUBLISHED: 06:00 29 July 2016
A Herts Advertiser investigation has shed new light on a cold case, 10 years after an inquest into the mysterious death-plunge of a man from a St Albans tower block.
Shumin Hussain died of multiple injuries, including a severe head injury, at the age of 29 after falling from the ninth floor window of Telford Court on September 7, 2003.
Three years later, at a four-day inquest into his death, deputy coroner David Pidgeon was unable to confirm whether Shumin was forced from the window or fell from it.
During the hearing more than 30 people were called to give evidence or had statements read out at the inquest, including the people thought to have been involved in a fight prior to his fall, and those arrested on suspicion of murder.
Mr Pidgeon said injuries to his fingers were “consistent with someone trying to release his grip” from the window frame.
In total, 11 people were arrested during what became a massive police investigation but no-one was ever charged.
Articles written by this paper during and at the conclusion of the inquest, during July 2006, said that Shumin had been glassed in the face during a fight in the ninth-floor flat which was occupied by Javid Iqbal.
Shumin had been a student, living at Doggetts Way in St Albans. He fell from a window of a flat, well-known as a drugs den 13 years ago, after he was assaulted during an argument, which may have been triggered when some money went missing.
The coroner saw CCTV footage of a group of men leaving the former Vintry pub in St Albans city centre, running down London Road towards Telford Court in Alma Road and returning to the pub. The whole chain of events took less than 30 minutes and in that time, Shumin died.
One of the witnesses to his possible murder was later killed in strange circumstances, another also died, and two were never traced.
It is one of those witnesses who has recently been tracked down in a Herts Advertiser investigation.
The police were for years unable to trace Tiffany Pitt, who was placed at the flat by witnesses.
In October 2006, Crimestoppers launched a campaign to target certain people living on the Costa del Sol, including Tiffany Pitt who, the charity said, was wanted in relation to a Hertfordshire murder inquiry. It said that she had been born in Jamaica, and “was present in 51 Telford Court, on the 7th September 2003 with Javid Iqbal [and] Shumin Hussain… Whilst in the flat she [allegedly] stole money from one of the other occupants. As a result of the theft being discovered an argument broke out in the flat.
“Other persons were called to the flat and a fight broke out where guns were produced. Some of the occupants were hit over the head with glasses. During the fight Shumin Hussain has gone out of the window of the flat and fallen to his death.”
In September 2013, a £3,000 reward was offered by Crimestoppers for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for the murder of Shumin - to no avail.
Upon finding out that there has been no major breakthrough with the cold case 10 years after the inquest, this paper has been trying to track down Tiffany Pitt, and has now established that, despite Crimestopper’s attempts to find her in Spain, at some stage, she returned to Jamaica.
But, an article published in the Jamaica Observer on February 10, 2011, shows she is apparently using a different name.
Buried in an article on “upcoming deejay Poochie Cash” who five years ago was trying to establish a music career, it says that she was christened Tiffany Pitt.
This information, along with Facebook photos of Poochie Cash, have been sent to the Herts Police, who have confirmed it is the same person.
The Herts Advertiser understands that she remains a “person of interest” and although she is no longer technically on a wanted list, the police would still like to speak with her.
Mick Flavin from the Beds, Cambs and Herts Major Crime Unit Cold Case and Review Team said: “While it is almost 13 years since Shumin died, our investigation into his death very much remains open and we continue to make inquiries to speak with people who may have any information about what happened that night.
“We are of course always keen to hear from anyone who knows anything at all about the events leading to his death.”
• Phone the police on 101 quoting Operation Regale. Or, phone Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.