Court hears man accused of kidnapping father found murdered in Kilburn has south London alibi

Ferell Benjamin was found dead in a hostel in Burton Road in November 2010

A drug dealer accused of kidnapping and torturing a father to death was at a family party at the time of the killing, a court heard.

Tex Crawford, 20, is said to taken part in the abduction and murder of 38-year-old Ferell Benjamin who was found dead in a hostel in Burton Road, Kilburn.

The Old Bailey heard Mr Benjamin was bundled into the boot of his own Mercedes n November 14, 2010.

The killers then forced him to hand over the keys to his home before leaving him for dead in the ladies’ bathroom.

But Joshua Smith told the court he saw Tex in south London that afternoon.

He said: “I went to the house to see his brother and I was told there was a party.”

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Mr Smith insisted he was telling the truth when questioned by prosecutor Jacob Hallam.

Asked what Crawford was wearing, he replied: “I couldn’t tell you exactly what he was wearing. I cannot remember exactly word for word how the conversations went.”

Mr Hallam asked: “He seemed his normal self?”

Mr Smith replied: “Yes sir, as always.”

The witness said he knew Tex Crawford was a well known cannabis dealer.

Crawford is standing trial for the murder alongside Samuel Prime-Fearon, 25, of Burton Road, and Craig Smith, 23, from Harrow.

It is claimed Tasheika Campbell, 22, let Smith and Crawford into the home of Mr Benjamin’s partner in Edgware where he was abducted.

He was then beaten and tortured with boiling water at the hostel where Prime-Fearon was living and found dead the following day, the court heard.

Smith and Crawford, of no fixed address, both deny conspiracy to rob, kidnap, false imprisonment and murder.

Prime-Fearon denies false imprisonment and murder.

Campbell denies conspiracy to rob and kidnap.

The trial continues.