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Couple ‘stabbed boy to death and hid body in attic for eight months’

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A couple killed a 17-year-old boy and hid his body in their attic to get money and give their children a ‘good Christmas’, a court has heard.

Stacy Docherty, 28, and Gary Hopkins, 37, allegedly murdered Abdi Ali with a claw hammer and 16cm long knife at their second floor flat in Enfield, north London, on 21 December 2017.

They bundled his body in a duvet cover and hid it in their loft for the next eight months, the Old Bailey was told.

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Abdi Ali A couple hid a drug dealer's body in the loft for eight months after murdering him and showed the decomposing corpse to friends, a court heard. Gary Hopkins, 37, and Stacy Docherty, 28, bludgeoned Abdi Ali, 17, with a hammer and stabbed him to death. Police searched for the teenager after his family reported him missing and had no idea his body in the loft in Enfield. Detectives were tipped off by a friend of the couple after they allowed vistors to see the grisly secret in the attic. The couple then told police the killer was a man named Gaille Bola, 22, who was wanted for another murder. Central News
Abdi Ali was murdered and found eight months later in a flat in north London (Picture: Central News)

The bloodstained murder weapons were also stashed there in a bid to get away with it, jurors were told.

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

Prosecutor Gareth Patterson QC said Docherty revealed a financial motive, saying she wanted to ‘give her children a good Christmas’.

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Opening the case, he said the defendants, who have three children, often took drugs at their flat at the time of Mr Ali’s death.

He said: ‘Having killed him, they then wrapped up his body inside a duvet cover.

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

Pic shows Abdi Ali Detectives investigating the murder of a man whose body was found at an address in Enfield have confirmed his identity. Acting on information received, officers attended the residential address in Hartmoor Mews, Enfield, at about 14:00hrs on Monday, 27 August. The body of a man was found within the loft of the premises. His next of kin have been informed. He has been formally identified as Abdi Ali, 18, of Ostell Crescent, Enfield. SEE STORY CENTRAL NEWS
Abdi Ali was allegedly killed for his money (Picture: Central News)

‘They did this to try to get away with what they had done.’

The lawyer said Mr Ali’s family had reported him missing and police had tried in vain to find him.

He said: ‘Meanwhile, as the months passed by, these defendants kept that body of Abdi Ali hidden away up in that attic.

‘It began to decompose through the spring and summer.

‘About eight months went by before it was finally discovered, by that stage having suffered serious decomposition and become infested with insects and the like.

‘It was not until the end of August last summer that the family’s worst fears were finally confirmed when the police had to deliver to them the terrible news about the discovery of the body.’

Mr Patterson explained how Hopkins and Docherty told visitors to the flat about the body in the attic in August last year.

Hopkins became anxious when his dealer refused to give him more drugs, the court heard.

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

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

She went into the bathroom and confided in one of the visitors that 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 Mr Ali’s body wrapped in a black and red duvet cover with plastic bags over his head.

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.

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