Man cleared of murdering waiter in Tottenham in row over cocaine
09:45 12 November 2010
A FATHER who was jailed for life last year for shooting dead a Dorchester Hotel waiter has been cleared of the murder after a retrial.
Anthony Carter, 37, was accused of blasting Mohammed Farah in the forehead at point blank range during a dispute over a £50 drug deal in Philip Lane, South Tottenham, in 1998.
Mr Carter’s DNA was found on a cap found in the victim’s hand at the scene, linking him to the crime.
Mr Carter’s ex-girlfriend also came forward in 2007 to tell police that he confessed to the murder - likened to “an execution” by the prosecutor - following the breakdown of their relationship.
He was convicted of the murder and jailed for a minimum of 20 years after a trial in July 2009.
But he successfully appealed to the High Court on the basis that the judge, Giles Forrester, had misdirected the jury by allowing evidence of bad character.
In that trial, jurors were told about a firearms offence that took place after the murder.
Following a retrial before a different judge, Martin Stephens QC, a new jury acquitted Mr Carter of murder on Thursday, November 11, after less than two hours’ deliberation.
He walked free from court an hour later to be greeted by screams of delight from friends and family.
The Old Bailey heard the victim, 37, had travelled to Tottenham to buy drugs in the early hours of September 26, 1998, after finishing his shift at the Dorchester.
He caught a minicab to Philip Lane and was seen arguing with a man wearing a baseball cap on a bicycle.
Mr Farah was also heard pleading with his killer, “Is it worth it for 50 quid?” before being shot in the head.
Minicab driver and witness Zhaid Nazir said: “It seemed like there was something wrong. He was shouting ‘Call the police, call the police.’
“I heard a bit of argument and the passenger shouted out, ‘Shoot me then’.
“The second guy had his arm up. They were face to face, the gun was pointing towards him.
“I saw a spark come out the gun. It was a banging noise like a loud firework.”
Police and emergency services arrived, but Mr Farah died on the scene.
Although none of the witnesses could identify the shooter, the black Nike baseball cap found in his hand had dandruff in it containing Mr Carter’s DNA, and that of his then-girlfriend Dassatta Lindo.
Mr Carter, of no fixed abode, was first arrested in 2001, but no action was taken against him until November 2007, when Miss Lindo contacted police.
She claimed he had tried to intimidate her following a break up in 1999, telling her: “Who do you think done it?”
Miss Lindo, who has a son with Mr Carter, said on a second occasion he told her he had shot a Somalian in a drugs deal in Philip Lane.
Mr Carter denied murder and said at the trial he had lost the cap some time earlier, and claimed his ex-girlfriend was lying.
He said she had known about his arrest for the murder in 2001 and the DNA link before she made her statement.