‘Vicious’ assault led to death of Stockton dad, court hears

A MAN was left unconscious for hours after he was brutally beaten by “fair weather” friends, a court has heard.

Adam Chawla, from Stockton, died on February 21 this year, about 48 hours after he was allegedly punched, kicked and stamped on at a home in Eleanor Place.

Pictures of the 27-year-old dad were taken following the assault – but no-one called an ambulance for about eight or nine hours, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Instead, he was left bleeding on the floor next to a dog.

Craig Hardy, 40, and Ryan Burey, 29, deny murder.

A third man Naeem Iqbal, 50, also faces one charge of assisting an offender and a charge of intending to pervert the course of justice, both in relation to the alleged murder.

The court heard the assault happened in the home of Iqbal, between 8.30am and 9.30am of February 19.

Dafydd Enoch, QC, prosecuting said: “He was beaten unconscious by Craig Hardy and Ryan Burey, The attack involved multiple blows, kicks and stamps to the body and head of Mr Chawla.

“It was so vicious it resulted in severe injuries to his brain in the form of bleeding and swelling, which in turn resulted in his eventual death 48 hours later.”

The court heard Mr Chawla was left on the living room floor for eight or nine hours before Iqbal eventually called an ambulance.

During that time, Burey and Iqbal remained in the house.

Mr Enoch added: “No-one lifted a finger to help him. No medical assistance was sought.”

When the emergency services did arrive, Iqbal and Burey told them they had found Mr Chawla in the street shortly before calling an ambulance, the court heard.

Mr Enoch said: “This was a whopping lie designed to keep the police of the scent.”

The court heard Mr Chawla and Burey were behind a plan to steal Hardy’s bike during a party at Iqbal’s home.

The court heard Burey spent some time at the house in Eleanor Place – which is near his ex-partner’s home. The arrangement was described as “odd” in court, while the prosecution said Iqbal was a “soft target” for people to take advantage of.

Hardy became involved in the situation after attending the property on February 17 to buy a gold chunky necklace, which was being sold by Burey on social media.

On February 18, Burey, Hardy and Mr Chawla went out together and shortly before midnight were picked up by CCTV heading towards Iqbal’s home.

Hardy and Mr Chawla left the house on a couple of occasions in the early hours of the morning, and at one point Hardy appeared to be under the influence of either of drugs or alcohol, as he had to be helped up.

At about 3.12am, Burey used a phone to take photos of Hardy’s “distinctive” bike.

Mr Enoch said: “The prosecution suggest you can infer Burey and Mr Chawla intended to sell the bike.”

After some “toing and froing”, the pair were spotted at Iqbal’s house just after 4am without the bike.

By 7am, Hardy realised his bike was gone and there were a series of conversations before CCTV shows him pushing Chawla through the door of Iqbal’s home at 8.31am.

Hardy can then be seen leaving the house at 9.41am.

Mr Enoch told jurors: “In that hour he had received that vicious beating at the hands of two men. No mercy was shown.”

He said Burey and Hardy had each blamed the other for the attack, while Iqbal said both of the men had been involved.

Mr Chawla’s blood was found on items of clothing belonging to Hardy and Burey.

The trial continues.

Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

You can also follow our dedicated Teesside Facebook page for all the latest in the area by clicking here.

For all the top news updates from right across the region straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here.

Have you got a story for us? Contact our newsdesk on newsdesk@nne.co.uk or contact 01325 505054

The Northern Echo | Teesside