Nashon Esbrand murder trial: ‘I never intended for him to get hurt’, accused tells Old Bailey

PUBLISHED: 15:05 16 March 2018

Nashon Esbrand: Picture: Ange Doua

Nashon Esbrand: Picture: Ange Doua


Dillon Zambon, one of the two young men accused of being part of Nashon Esbrand’s murder in Canonbury last year, this afternoon told a jury: “I never intended for Nashon to get hurt.”

Police taped off Mitchison Road, off Essex Road, in Canonbury following the stabbing. Picture: James MorrisPolice taped off Mitchison Road, off Essex Road, in Canonbury following the stabbing. Picture: James Morris

Zambon, 20, was being questioned by defence solicitor Judith Khan on the fifth day of the Old Bailey murder trial. A 16-year-old boy (“Defendant 3”) has already admitted Nashon’s murder – yards from his parents’ house – in Mitchison Road on August 24 last year. Zambon and Jhon Berhane, 18, are accused of being part of the killing by chasing him on pedal bikes and helping corner him. Both deny murder.

Asked by Ms Khan why he left Mitchison Road during the attack, Zambon said: “Because I saw a knife. I thought he was going to get stabbed. I never wanted that to happen. I left before it happened. I didn’t want to play a part in it. If I wanted to be part of it, I would have played my part.”

Zambon had earlier faced three hours of cross-examination from prosecutor Hugh Davies. He was questioned about a YouTube video, shot in the Cally’s Bemerton Estate, in which Berhane and Jack Stevens (who is alleged by the prosecution to have been part of Nashon’s killing, but is said to be in hiding) are said to feature and show Essex Road and Cally Boyz gang signs with their hands.

Zambon said: “I thought it was a joke. Everything said in that song – nothing really happens.”

Mr Davies asked: “What is sung?”

Zambon: “I can’t tell you because I’m not in a gang.”

The prosecution alleges that Nashon’s killing was borne from hostility shown to him by the Cally Boyz gang after he spoke to police about an incident.

Mr Davies then asked Zambon about his previous associations with Nashon: “You said he was linked to the youth club in Caledonian Road.”

Zambon: “It was when I was about 14.”

Nashon Esbrand was stabbed to death in Mitchison Road, Canonbury, in August.Nashon Esbrand was stabbed to death in Mitchison Road, Canonbury, in August.

Mr Davies: “He’s seven years older than you. So he would have been 21 or 22. His parents moved to Mitchison Road 12 or 13 years ago. Why would he be there, at a Caledonian Road youth club?”

Zambon: “Nashon Esbrand used to live in Caledonian Road, sir.”

Mr Davies: “You never mentioned this in your defence statement. He was over seven years older than you. He wasn’t going to be hanging around with someone who was 14. At 21, he was a bit too old for youth club.”

Zambon: “No, sir. Everyone of his age group used to go to youth club in Caledonian Road. I never had problems with him myself. We’d often greet each other.”

Footage played to the court showed the moment Nashon’s path crossed with Zambon and Stevens on the junction of Ecclesbourne Road and Rotherfield Street. Almost immediately, Nashon, 27, begins to run.

Zambon told Mr Davies: “Nashon told Stevens to follow.”

Mr Davies: “He didn’t tell you to come at all. Why would he do that? Almost immediately you and Stevens are following. He starts running from the beginning. If he had said to you ‘come’ why would he start running?”

Mr Davies said Stevens called Berhane to join in the chase. CCTV played to the court showed Nashon pursued and trapped by five males in Mitchison Road.

Zambon said: “When I turned into Mitchison Road, I thought he would get beaten up. Someone was already off their bike.”

Police at the scene in Mitchison Road, Canonbury. Picture: James MorrisPolice at the scene in Mitchison Road, Canonbury. Picture: James Morris

Mr Davies: “You said you wanted no part of it. Why did you follow him? What kind of ‘beating up’ did you have in mind?”

Zambon: “I can’t tell you. Just beaten up. With fists.”

Mr Davies: “Why did you go into Mitchison Road at all?”

Zambon: “I ask myself the same question every day, sir.”

Mr Davies: “There is an answer. The answer is, you were acting together to trap and stab him and cause him serious harm.”

Zambon: “If I wanted to do serious harm, I had already had plenty of opportunities.”

Zambon also told the court of his conversation with Defendant 3, who delivered the fatal blows. “I was like: ‘Why did you stab him?’ After that I told him to f*** off.”

The trial continues.

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