WOOLWICH: Teenager claims he killed David Cooper in self-defence

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WOOLWICH: Teenager claims he killed David Cooper in self-defence

10:28am Wednesday 8th July 2009

A FAILED asylum seeker killed a man who was trying to rape him, a court heard.

David Cooper was found dead in his flat in Sir Martin Bowes House, Calderwood Street, Woolwich, in November last year.

Mossab Belhocine, 19, from Walthamstow, is alleged to have kicked 28-year-old Mr Cooper so hard he left an imprint of his trainer on his face.

At the Old Bailey this week, the Algerian national denied murdering the sales assistant and said he was defending himself against a sexual attack by Mr Cooper.

But the prosecution deny there was any attempted rape and say Belhocine murdered Mr Cooper in order to rob him.

Belhocine, also known as Adam Saidi, met Mr Cooper in Soho in November last year and the pair travelled to a flat in south London.

Belhocine told the jury that he had been swigging vodka and Red Bull all evening and had smoked a cannabis with Mr Cooper when they got to his home.

He said: “He came and sat next to me on the sofa and put his hand on my leg and started moving it up and down.

“I got up and was going to leave because I didn’t want it to happen.

“He put his hands on my shoulders and pushed me towards the bed. I fell onto it. He came on top of me and was trying to kiss me.”

Belhocine told the jury that in an attempt to get Mr Cooper off him, he started punching him with both fists.

He said: “I was punching him anywhere and trying to fight him off. I pushed him onto the floor. He was holding my left leg as he was lying on the floor. I kicked him in his chest and face a few times to get my leg free.”

Belhocine told the court that he couldn’t remember causing Mr Cooper any more injuries because he was “really drunk”.

He said that he had been sexually abused as a child and believed the memory may have triggered his anger on the night of Mr Cooper’s death.

The court heard that Belhocine ransacked Mr Cooper’s flat while he lay dying and stole a silver bracelet, DVD player, computer console, flat screen television, laptop, a black case and an Oyster card.

Belhocine said that while searching the flat, Mr Cooper was on the floor making noises and was moving but was unable to get up.

He said that he put all the items in two bags and left the flat. He was later arrested after detectives traced the journeys of Mr Cooper’s Oyster card.

The court heard that the failed asylum seeker came to the UK on a visitor’s visa in 2007.

The prosecution say that he was part of a network of Algerian pick-pockets operating in the Finsbury Park area, which Belhocine denies.

Belhocine says he was living off money sent from his mother and earnings from a warehouse job before he was charged with fraud for applying for a visa with a fake passport, using the name Adam Saidi, in September last year.

The trial continues.

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