Wheathampstead horseriders tell of battle to save murder victim’s life

A HUSHED Crown Court jury has been told how four horsewomen, two of them nurses, fought a life and death battle to try and save the life of an alleged murder victim after finding his lifeless body dumped in a layby in Wheathampstead.

The jury at Chelmsford Crown Court was also told of an alleged death threat made against Mohim Miah by one of the three St Albans men accused of murdering him on November 18 last year.

Anthony Cross, 31, of Green Lane, his brother Joseph, 27, of Newgate Close, and their friend Michael Taylor, 27, of Bricket Road, all deny murdering Mr Miah.

The body of Mr Miah, 29, of Herne Bay, Kent, was found by the women near riding stables at West End Farm, Ferrers Lane.

He was initially discovered by Laura Thorne whose car headlights picked the body up lying in the layby.

In a statement to the court she said she had spotted Mr Miah lying face up with his face covered in blood and his right leg tucked under him.

She shouted to friends, Elaine Thornton, Helen Wilson and Vivienne Wilder, who rushed over.

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Ms Thorne continued: “I could instantly see he was not breathing because his chest was not moving and he appeared lifeless. His face looked as if it had suffered some injuries. His eyes were closed, his face swollen, especially around the mouth and lips. There was a lot of blood on his head, around his nose and mouth. It looked like blood had come down his head. He looked as if he had suffered a bad head injury.

“His clothing had no mud on it and his shoes were clean and none of his clothing was wet. At first I thought he had been hit by a vehicle but by how clean his clothes were it was as if he had been placed there, especially where he was put, eight to 10 metres away from the road.”

The jury was told that Vivienne Wilder and Helen Wilson were nurses and they carried out chest compressions in a fight to save Mr Miah’s life until paramedics arrived.

Ms Wilson said in a statement: “I noticed when I felt his wrist his skin wasn’t cold as I expected it to be. In fact it was quite warm. His neck felt warm. I couldn’t feel a pulse and Viv said the same. Elaine said there was no air movement from his mouth and I presumed he was already deceased or close to it.”

In her statement Elaine Thornton said she saw a car either pulling into the layby or it was already parked there. She thought it was a Peugeot from the shape. She didn’t see anyone with it or hear the engine running.

The prosecution alleges that Mr Miah was taken in Anthony Cross’s girlfriend’s Peugeot to the dumping site.

Mr Miah, known as Mo, had returned to St Albans where he had once lived to celebrate his 30th birthday. He and the defendants had been drinking on November 18 and for some reason he was allegedly beaten up.

He suffered from multiple blunt impact injuries to his head, trunk and all four limbs. He had also been stabbed. He died from blood going into his lungs. The prosecution claim that all three were involved in the “severe beating”.

Emdad Choudhury, 25, a friend of Mr Miah’s, told the jury that two weeks before he was found dead he had bumped into Joe Cross with two other men he did not know.

He said: “Joe said if he saw Mohim, him and a couple of people were going to kill him.” But he hadn’t taken the threat seriously or asked why because Joe was “a loudmouth.”

Mr Miah’s mother Assie Khatun said in a statement that she had last seen her son at around 9am on November 18 and he told her he would be back home that evening.”

She added: “I never saw him again that day and didn’t speak to him either. I phoned his mobile twice but it was switched off.”

The trial continues.