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Man who stabbed shopkeeper to death for his takings in Pinner was one-man crimewave, court is told

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A masked robber stabbed to death a Pinner shopkeeper for his shop’s takings in the midst of a “one-man crimewave”, the Old Bailey heard.

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Alex Gunn, 31, allegedly murdered 54-year-old Ravi Katharkamar during an early morning raid on his Marsh food and Wine store, putting a knife to his throat before stabbing him in the chest and stealing the till.

Jurors heard Gunn is accused of using a stolen car to get away after the robbery and murder of Mr Katharkamar, and faces claims he was behind a string of other burglaries and thefts in the space of just three weeks.

Prosecutor William Emlyn Jones said yesterday (tues) the stabbing was caught on Mr Katharkamar’s own CCTV, showing the robber wearing gloves and a mask entering the store at around 6.10am on March 24.

The figure, said to be Gunn, approached the shopkeeper at the back of the store as he was sorting the Sunday newspapers, putting a knife to Mr Katharkamar’s throat before the two men began to tussle.

Detectives and forensics workers at the scene of the fatal stabbing in Pinner (NIGEL HOWARD ©)

“There was the moment he was stabbed and killed for the contents of his till”, said Mr Emlyn Jones, playing the jury CCTV of the incident.

“There is an awful escalation of the violence.

“There was no waving the knife and saying ‘give us your money’, from the word go the violence inflicted on Mr Katharkamar is at the utmost level.

“Ultimately, to get away with the till, the defendant stabbed and killed that shopkeeper.”

Pointing to Gunn in the dock, the prosecutor said: “We are concerned in this case with what might be called a one-man crimewave, that one man being that man.”

Gunn is accused of committing the string of crimes in the space of a few weeks to fund an “expensive” drug habit.

It is said he stole a black Vauxhall Astra on March 13 from a house in Wembley which was used in the raid on Mr Katharkamar’s store, and he was still driving the vehicle when he was arrested on March 29, shortly after committing one of the burglaries.

Jurors heard Gunn, from Pinner, visited Marsh Food and Wine twice in the stolen car before the fatal robbery, including one visit a week before “almost to the minute” which was said to be for reconnaissance.  

Mr Emlyn Jones said Gunn had visited his mother in Pinner at around 5.30am on the morning of the stabbing, before driving to the shop and parking up outside.

“He appears to just sit in it for about ten minutes, no doubt to summon the courage or nerve, if courage and nerve is what you need to run in and murder a shopkeeper.”

Mr Katharkamar was found fatally wounded by a jogged at around 6.46am, having suffered knife wounds which pierced his lungs and heart.

Gunn denies charges of murder, robbery, four burglaries, three thefts, and two counts of possession of a bladed article.

The trial continues.

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