‘I hit him in the head with the pistol’ Kilburn defendant tells court after Maida Vale man shot in the head

Iraj Seifi, 46. Picture: Met Police

Iraj Seifi, 46. Picture: Met Police - Credit: Met Police

A Kilburn man has told a court he “did not intend to kill” a Maida Vale drug dealer he “hit” in the head with a handgun.

Errol James, 53, of Bruckner Street, claimed he did not know the gun used to kill Iraj Seifi was loaded as it did not belong to him.

Mr James, along with Romello Briggs-Leon, 25, of Second Avenue in Kensal Town, are both charged with killing Iraj Seifi, 46, of Maida Vale.

Mr Seifi, a delivery driver for Tesco, was found suffering from gunshot wounds in Bravington Road on the afternoon of January 29.

He was treated by medics at the scene before being taken to hospital where he remained in a critical condition until he died on February 7.

Mr James took the stand at the Old Bailey on September 22.

The bullet casing was never found by the police, nor the gun, only a bullet in Mr Seifi’s body during a post-mortem.

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Defence lawyer for Mr James, Michael Holland, told jurors Mr Seifi was selling Class A drugs valued at around £10,000 - “no small beer” - and would “likely” have owned a gun.

“Drugs of this quantity goes hand in hand with weapons. If you have drugs of this quantity you have to protect yourself,” said Mr Holland.

Mr James told jurors that he didn’t know Mr Briggs-Leon very well, as the younger defendant was a friend of his step-son.

He said Mr Briggs-Leon had come to his house on the day of the incident, saying he “wanted to buy something” from Mr Seifi and Mr James agreed to accompany him.

He knew Mr Briggs-Leon was going to collect “food” - slang for drugs - but believed “it would be in and out”.

But an argument started in the room with Mr Seifi and Mr Briggs-Leon grabbed the bag of drugs. At the same time, Mr James saw a gun.

“He (Mr Seifi) tried to reach it, I reached it before him.”

The men then ran out of the room pursued by Mr Seifi, who tackled Mr Briggs-Leon to the ground outside.

“I hit him in the head with the pistol” said James. He said he was holding the gun by the handle, didn’t have a finger in the trigger guard and only wanted to “distract him”.

He later threw the gun and his clothes “in a bin” because he was “scared and shocked”.

The two defendants deny murder, manslaughter and possession of a fire-arm.

The case continues.