Couple killed boy and hid body in attic for eight months to ‘give children a good Christmas’, court hears


A couple accused of killing a 17-year-old boy and hiding his body in their attic committed the crime so they could give their children a “good Christmas”, a court has heard.

Stacy Docherty, 28, and Gary Hopkins, 37, are charged with murdering Abdi Ali with a claw hammer and a knife at their flat in Enfield, north London, just four days before Christmas in 2017.

A jury at the Old Bailey was told the pair then wrapped his body into a duvet cover and left it in their loft for the next eight months.

The bloodstained murder weapons were also said to have been hidden there.

Police were alerted after the defendants let slip details about what had happened to associates who visited the flat, the court heard.

Prosecutor Gareth Patterson said Ms Docherty had revealed she was motivated by money, saying she wanted to “give her children a good Christmas”.

Abdi was killed so Ms Docherty and Mr Hopkins could take drugs from him, it is said.

“Having killed him, they then wrapped up his body inside a duvet cover,” he said.

“They hid it in their attic along with the murder weapons – a claw hammer and a knife.

“They did this to try to get away with what they had done.”

Abdi’s family had reported him missing and police had tried in vain to find the 17-year-old. After eight months his remains were finally discovered, infested with insects and seriously decomposed.

Mr Hopkins and Ms Docherty were only caught after they inadvertently blurted out what they had done to visitors to their flat while trying to conclude a drug deal, the court heard.

On the way to a cash machine, Mr Hopkins talked about wanting to rob the dealer and kill him as he had done with Abdi, the jury was told.

When they got back, Mr Hopkins allegedly told Mr Docherty “I’ve told them about the attic”, and she burst into tears.

She then confided in one of their visitors she knew about what happened before Christmas, Mr Patterson said.

He told jurors: “She revealed that the motive had been financial, stating that she had wanted to give her children a good Christmas.”

When police searched the attic, they found Abdi’s body wrapped in a black-and-red duvet cover with plastic bags over his head.

The 5ft 2in teenager was hit over the head with a hammer at least three times and stabbed repeatedly in a “savage attack”, jurors heard.

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Mr Patterson said: “The prosecution case is that nobody else had anything to do with the murder of Abdi Ali other than these defendants.”

The defendants are jointly charged with murder, perverting the course of justice and preventing the lawful burial of a dead body.

Docherty has denied all the charges while Hopkins has denied murder but admitted the two other charges.

Additional reporting by PA

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