A MAN cleared of murdering a former Thai chef from Huddersfield has gone on trial accused of conspiring to rob him.
Syed Bukhari, 29, is alleged to have been part of a gang who broke into a brothel in Bradford to steal cash they believed was under the floorboards.
During the failed robbery in August, 2009, householder Tinakorn Tuekpia, 42, who used to work at the Thai Sakon premises in Huddersfield, suffered a fatal stab wound and died.
Mr Tuekpia worked at the St John’s Road restaurant in 2008 and 2009, before moving to Bradford.
Prosecutor Tom Bayliss revealed to a jury at Bradford Crown Court yesterday that Bukhari, of Ringwood Road, Bradford, had already been acquitted of murdering Mr Tuekpia, but he said the issue to decide was if he was part of a conspiracy to rob him.
The court heard that the gang, which included at least three other men, had targeted the ordinary house in Little Horton Lane because it was being used as a brothel and it was believed there was as much as £25,000 hidden under the floorboards.
Mr Bayliss told the jury that three men had admitted the conspiracy to rob charge and an allegation of manslaughter in respect of Mr Tuekpia’s death. The allegation is that around about, or shortly after, one o’clock in the morning of August 17, 2009, a gang of four men went to a house at Little Horton Lane,” said Mr Bayliss. “The gang of men were after money. It was an attempt robbery, but the reason was that the house was being used as a brothel. The men thought there was a lot of cash there. It is as simple as that. and the plan was to rob the occupants and steal the money.
“The robbery failed but in repelling the would-be robbers, the householder Tinakorn Tuekpia suffered a fatal stab wound.”
Bukhari has denied the charge of conspiracy to rob and his trial is expected to last more than a week.