Birmingham riots: judge appeals for calm as eight cleared of murder
Haroon Jahan, 20, ShazadAli, 31, and Abdul Musavir, 30, were protecting local businesses when it was claimed they were deliberatly mown down in a modern-day equivalent of a "chariot charge" involving three cars in Winson Green, Birmingham.
But today eight men in the cars were cleared of three counts of murder each by a jury at Birmingham Crown Court today after just over four hours of deliberations.
Ryan Goodwin, Shaun Flynn, Juan Ruiz-Gaviria, Joshua Donald, Everton Graham, Adam King, Ian Beckford and Aaron Parkins all walked free.
After the verdicts, the trial judge, Mr Justice Flaux appealed for calm on the streets of Birmingham and urged people to respect the jury's findings.
The judge said: "On any view, this has been a terrible case - a tragic and pointless loss of three young lives.
"However, by their verdicts the jury have decided that this was not a deliberate killing, that there was no plan to kill these three young men.
"The jury have decided that this was a terrible accident."
The judge, who said the deaths occurred at a time of unprecedented civil disorder, added: "It is important that however strong feelings are within the community in Winson Green and adjacent areas, that calm is maintained and that these verdicts are respected.
"Any other action would not be honouring those who died. In fact, quite the reverse. What happened on the streets of Birmingham and other cities last August should never be repeated."
Addressing the relatives of the dead men, he said: "I know this has been really terrible for you, don't think I don't know that. (...)