STABBING: Asha ‘beaten up in public’, court told

FORMER Brierfield girl Asha Muneer was beaten up in public by the ex-boyfriend accused of her murder, a court heard.

Teenage friends of Asha told Reading Crown Court Gulamyr Akhter grabbed her by the hair and repeatedly slapped and punched the 18-year-old when she tried to end their relationship last summer.

Akhter is accused of murdering Asha in Reading in January. Akhter has denied the charge and the trial is now in its second week

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In a recorded police interview, and via a live video link, one of the friends, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told the court how she was with Asha at a fair in July last year when Akhter shouted: “If I can’t be with you, no-one can.”

The friend said: “He just went up to Asha and attacked her because she left him that day. She didn’t want to be with him.”

Asha left a bag of DVDs, which Akhter had wanted returned, on a path in a park. He walked past Asha and her friends to pick them up and was shouting and swearing at her.

Half an hour later, when they were walking towards the toilets, the friend said Akhter attacked the former Marsden Heights Community College student.

She said: “He was like ‘If I can’t be with you, no one can’ and just started hitting her. He grabbed her by the neck against a wall and he was punching her and he slapped her. I tried to stop him but he pushed me, too.

“He’s kind of big so I couldn’t do much about it. He just kept hitting her and then he pulled her hair.”

Two young men intervened, but after initially pulling him off Asha, Akhter ran back and attacked her again.

The friend said: “She didn’t cry once. She was strong. She hit him back as well, but when she hit him he hit her back harder.”

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Another friend of Asha’s, who also cannot be named, described to police how he saw her and Akhter arguing the same day.

He said: “It was about the relationship. She wanted to end it. She was saying ‘I don’t like you any more’. He slapped her and was shouting ‘you bitch, you ho’. He was pulling her hair and punching her.”

The trial continues.