Jaskaran Kang murder trial: Two gang members admit role in cannabis robbery plot
Two of the four strong gang alleged to have murdered shopkeeper Jaskaran Kang have admitted plotting to rob him, a jury heard.
And a third has also confessed to being at the scene, Birmingham Crown Court was told
Mr Mark Heywood QC, prosecuting, revealed that Michael Cunningham and James Peake, both aged 18, have both pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rob Mr Kang but deny being involved in his death.
Dontay Ellis, aged 19, has also admitted being part of the gang but insists he only went to the flat – above the shop run by the victim and his brother in Stourbridge Road, Brierley Hill – to steal cannabis. He denies both conspiracy to rob and murder.
Cunningham was also overheard allegedly confessing to be the raider who carried the stolen drugs from the address during the early hours of January 6 last year.
This reportedly happened during a visit from his father and grandmother while he was on remand in custody waiting for the trial to start.
Mr Heywood said the alleged admission followed publicity on the subject of joint enterprise.
The prosecutor explained: “He was aware of the publicity and told his family that joint enterprise no longer existed.
“That was wrong and it may be why he felt able to talk about what happened on January 6.”
The gang escaped from the flat in a stolen Ford Focus that was torched later that day near the Crooked House, a pub in Dudley, that the jury was told.
Mr Heywood continued: “Cunningham said he knew who the burned out car belonged to and it was somebody who was not there on the night.
“He also said he had been the person who took the box of drugs and was with two friends called Jigger and Dontay.”
Jigger was alleged to be Peake’s nickname, the jury heard.
It was also claimed that Cunningham had been heard to say that aggravated burglary was the charge he believed he was most likely to face and he would be ‘so happy’ with that.
He also allegedly told his relatives that the clothes he wore on that night were ‘gone – genuinely gone’.
Mr Kang and his friend Alex Clarke sold cannabis from his shop and kept the drugs in the flat above the store, the court heard.
Reggie Salmon, aged 21, was allegedly among those who bought cannabis from them and supposedly made at least two purchases the day before the murder.
He also knew the layout of the flat, it was claimed.
The four strong gang armed with Rambo and Zombie knives burst into the flat, stole the cannabis and repeatedly stabbed Mr Kang who was left to bleed to death, it was claimed.
The group allegedly comprised Ellis, Cunningham, Peake and 18 year old Joshua Campbell.
Mr Heywood maintained: “We say they were all party to a joint enterprise.”
Salmon and 21 year old Tyrone Johnson are accused of organising the ill-fated robbery but did not take part in it. Ellis from Central Drive, Lower Gornal; Cunningham of Coalway Road, Penn; Campbell of King Edmund Street, Dudley and Peake from Southgate Way, Dudley, all plead not guilty to murder.
Salmon, from Stourbridge Road, Brierley Hill, and Johnson, of Malthouse Drive, Dudley, both deny manslaughter.
Ellis, Campbell, Salmon and Johnson plead not guilty to conspiracy to rob.
The case continues.
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