Kensal Rise man convicted of Hackney murder loses appeal to clear his name

Izak Billy was found guilty of murdering Gulistan Subasi in March 2010

A man who was jailed for life for paying a schoolboy �200 to murder a young mother has lost a Court of Appeal bid to clear his name.

Izak Kwasi Billy, 22, of Pember Road, Kensal Rise, was convicted at the Old Bailey of the murder of 26-year-old Gulistan Subasi in May last year.

Ms Subasi was blasted with a shotgun by 15-year-old Santre Sanchez Gayle, of Compton Road, Kensal Green, in Hackney in March 2010.

Billy had denied recruiting the teenager to carry out the killing and acting as his minder.

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Last week, his case was back in court as he began a fight to clear his name, but was rejected as “unarguable” by top judges, Lord Justice Pitchford, Mr Justice Underhill and Mr Justice Lindblom.

Lawyers for Billy argued that he should have been tried separately to his co-accused, because his defence was prejudiced by the admission of CCTV evidence.

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A still from the footage showed two men - one of them Gayle, the prosecution said - in the alleyway next to the murder scene on the night before the killing.

Facing such prejudicial evidence, Billy’s case should have been “severed” from the rest of the trial and heard separately, the appeal judges were told.

But, rejecting the argument, Mr Justice Underhill said that there would have to be shown to be “substantial prejudice” to make it in the “interests of justice” for his case to be severed.

“The judge held that no such case had been shown and we do not accept that such a case has even arguably been demonstrated to us,” he said.

“Overall, we see no real risk that the presentation of the applicant’s defence was prejudiced by the course which the trial took.”

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