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Teenager who stabbed three men, killing two, found guilty of murder

A teenager who stabbed three men, killing two, after an argument over a love interest has been found guilty of murder.

Rashane Douglas, 19, stabbed Haidar Shah, 19, Joshua Clark, 21, and Brandon Coupe, 18, in the chest within seconds of each other following a row outside a nightclub in Halifax, West Yorkshire, in the early hours of October 1 last year.

Mr Shah and Mr Clark died from their stab wounds, while Mr Coupe survived.

Police activity outside the Victoria Theatre in Fountain Street, near to the scene of a triple stabbing in Commercial Street in Halifax, West Yorkshire
Police activity outside the Victoria Theatre in Fountain Street, near to the scene of a triple stabbing in Commercial Street in Halifax, West Yorkshire (Danny Lawson/PA)

On Tuesday a jury convicted him of the murders of Mr Shah and Mr Clark after deliberating for almost eight hours.

He was cleared of attempting to murder Mr Coupe, but found guilty of wounding with intent.

He pleaded guilty to possessing a knife in a public place at a previous hearing.

Prosecutors said Douglas was angry that a woman he had been expecting to meet at Maggie’s bar had chosen to be with Mr Shah that night instead.

Douglas told the court he was “OK” with the woman seeing other people, and he stabbed the three men because he “thought he was going to die” when they came towards him during an altercation outside the bar later on.

He said he “lashed out with the knife in order to get away” and fled the scene without knowing if he had stabbed any of them or not.

Rashane Douglas
Rashane Douglas stabbed Haidar Shah and Joshua Clark (West Yorkshire Police/PA)

Bradford Crown Court heard that on the night of the incident Douglas had approached a booth in the bar where the woman he had arranged to meet, Kiera Hamilton, was sitting with Mr Shah.

Douglas could be seen on CCTV removing Mr Shah’s arm from around Ms Hamilton, and to put his own arm around her shoulders instead.

Ms Hamilton later told police Douglas “got angry” and asked her: “Why you sat in front of me doing this”, before asking Mr Shah his name and where he was from.

The stabbings happened at 3.45am after Douglas, with his friends Yaseen Iqbal and Levell Clark, and Mr Shah, with his friends Mr Clark and Mr Coupe, had all left the bar.

CCTV from the street outside shows Mr Coupe attempt to punch Douglas, before Mr Shah and Mr Clark cross the road towards him.

Prosecutor Mark McKone KC said Douglas then pulled a knife from his pocket and held it in his right hand, appearing to hide it behind his leg.

The footage then showed Douglas stabbing the three men before running away and apparently throwing the knife down a drain.

Mr McKone said: “The prosecution accept the CCTV shows Brandon Coupe throwing a punch at Rashane Douglas and the two deceased men move towards him, albeit not at the same time.

“The crux of the prosecution case is that it was totally unreasonable for Rashane Douglas to react to this by stabbing three men in the upper body.

“None of the three men had a knife.

“The prosecution say not only can Rashane Douglas be seen on CCTV to take a knife out of his pocket, but significantly, he does not wave his knife around as you would expect if he was trying to scare the men away so as to avoid violence.

“He discreetly hides the knife behind his leg so none of the men would be able to see it.”

Halifax triple stabbing
Police and forensic officers outside The Victoria Theatre near the scene of a triple stabbing in Commercial Street in Halifax (Danny Lawson/PA)

Douglas said in his evidence he carried a knife when he was out as people close to him had been killed and he “didn’t feel safe”, but said it was intended to scare people away, not to be used.

He told the court that at the time he thought one of the three men had a knife, but accepted in his evidence that they did not.

Iqbal, 18, of Hall Bower, Huddersfield was found guilty of assisting an offender after helping Douglas avoid arrest by fleeing the scene with him in a taxi, letting him stay at his house that night, and helping him dispose of the clothing he had been wearing at the time.

Judge Jonathan Rose said he would sentence the two defendants at a date to be set.