A Milton Keynes teen who helped his murderer mates after they fatally stabbed one man in Didcot and injured two others has been jailed.
Zarahn Zaman, then 19 but now 22, researched train times to get friends Brookton Lagan and Taison Cyrille to the continent, Googling for Eurostar tickets less than 24 hours after the pair had murdered Darren MacCormick in the early hours of January 9, 2020.
Turning their backs on the train, on the evening of January 10 they made their way through customs at Luton Airport intent on getting a flight to Amsterdam booked by Zaman.
Lagan and Cyrille were arrested at the airport 35 minutes before their flight was due to take off, Oxford Crown Court heard on Friday (September 22).
Zaman kept his head bowed as he was jailed for five years and nine months. Sending him down, Judge Ian Pringle KC said: “From the early hours of Tuesday, January 9, until the early evening of January 10, you did all in your power to help the principals – the murderers – try to escape this country and justice.”
In the hours after 44-year-old Mr MacCormick was murdered by Lagan and Cyrille in Mendip Heights, Zaman drove his girlfriend’s car to pick up the killers’ belongings and travel documents.
Phone records showed he had been in contact by telephone and Facebook Messenger with co-defendant Aiysha Lazereg, as he drove between Milton Keynes, Oxford and Bedford.
She was said to have offered to do ‘whatever she could’ to help and even offered to the defendant the use of her child’s savings, it was said.
Lazereg, now 23, was alleged to have helped organise the collection and delivery of cash intended to help the murder suspects.
“You did everything you possibly could in a short period of time to try to help them escape the jurisdiction by buying tickets,” Judge Pringle said.
“First of all for Eurostar and, subsequently, for flights.”
The court heard Zaman’s phone made a series of suspicious internet searches pointing to his involvement in assisting the killers.
The search terms included ‘how much time in prison for [disposing] evidence’ and ‘what is it called if you hide someone UK’.
Zaman and his former co-defendant Lazereg discussed in phone messages the different appearance of Brookton Lagan in police images released to the press following his arrest.
The defendant refused to provide police with the pin number to a mobile phone, which officers believed was used by killer Lagan at the time of the murder.
The Milton Keynes man, of Fullers Slade, pleaded guilty on the day of his trial in June to assisting an offender, having earlier pleaded guilty to failing to supply the pin to the mobile phone. Charges were dropped against Lazereg.
Mitigating, Ashraf Khan told the crown court on Friday that his client was ‘very regretful, very remorseful for his actions’.
He had two young children, who he accepted he would not see for some time.
Following the hearing, DI Mike West of Thames Valley Police said: “The guilty pleas entered by Zaman reflect the overwhelming evidence against him.”