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Windsor manslaughter trial: Eyewitness saw groups squaring up moments before fatal punch, court told

An eyewitness has told a court he saw two groups of men squaring up to each other moments before a 50-year-old was knocked unconscious in Windsor.

Taxi driver Mohammed Shaqeel had been parked in The Arches in the early hours of September 10 when Mohammed Ishan Rasheed was floored with one punch in Goswell Hill.

Kirk Bentley, of Church Street, Staines-upon-Thames, faces charges of manslaughter and affray in relation to his death.

Ashley Ball, of Wheatsheaf Lane, Staines, has pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

Mr Shaqeel told jurors at Reading Crown Court today that he saw a group of ‘four to five’ Asian men in a confrontation with Ball and Bentley shortly after 2am.

He said: “There was a lot of noise and shouting but I couldn’t really work out what was being said.

“The Asian group were very aggressive and animated.”

He added: “He (Bentley) was very aggressive and had his fists clenched and was circling the Asian group.”

The taxi driver told jurors that he saw Bentley throwing punches at one of Mr Rasheed’s friends but none connected.

Minutes later, he looked to the left and saw the 50-year-old victim from Wembley had fallen to the floor.

Ali Abdul Chouafi, a colleague of Mr Rasheed, also took to the witness stand to give evidence today.

He told jurors that Bentley had been acting ‘very aggressively’ towards the group as they walked down Goswell Hill.

But Patrick Dennis, defending, told the court that Mr Chouafi and his friends had followed Bentley down the busy strip of bars following an argument between the two groups.

He showed CCTV images to jurors which highlighted Mr Rasheed acting in a peacemaker role and putting his arm across Mr Chouafi following the confrontation.

He told the court: “What we can clearly see is Mohammed Rasheed putting his arm across you and trying to restrain you.

“If you are the peacemaker why would Mr Rasheed need to put his arm across you?”

After being knocked to the floor, Mr Rasheed smashed his head on the ground and died in hospital two days later.

The trial continues.

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