A man was murdered in his own flat after allegedly being set up in a “honeytrap” by three young women, a jury heard today (Tuesday, May 16).
Vishal Gohel, 44, was gagged and beaten when three male accomplices arrived at his flat to rob him, it was alleged.
Prosecutor Charlotte Newell KC told St Albans Crown Court that on the morning of Sunday, January 23, last year, a neighbour saw Mr Gohel’s front door was ajar and the kitchen light was on.
When he returned to the second floor of the flats on Bushey High Street at 10pm, he noticed the door was still open and decided to check.
She said he knocked on the door and went in to make a “horrifying discovery”.
She said: “Mr Gohel was lifeless on the floor of the bedroom. Gaffer tape was round the lower part of his face. A post-mortem examination found he had suffered a significant blow or blows to the head.
“Both sides of his face were injured. There was internal bruising to his scalp, eyes and jaw. There was brain damage and his voice box had been fractured, consistent with squeezing of the neck.
“The prosecutor said the second floor flat had been tidied in an effort to clean the scene. Mr Gohel’s iPhone and Apple Watch had been taken.
She said he was the victim of a “honeytrap”, where three women had gained access to the flat on the promise of sexual liaisons that never happened. They allegedly gained entry to allow the males in to steal property.
The male defendants are: Tevin Leslie, 23, of Hurst Street, Brixton, London; Sakeen Gordon, 22, of Uxbridge Road, Ealing; and Brandon Browne, 22, of Laburnham Road, Rochester, Kent.
The female defendants are: Yarley Georgia Bruce-Annan, 22, of Harts Lane, Barking; Tiana Edwards Hancock, 20, of Fresh Wharf Road, Barking; and Faith Hoppie, 22, of Blake Avenue, Barking.
Ms Newell told the jury that Tevin Leslie has admitted the manslaughter of Mr Gohel and conspiracy to rob him.
The other five defendants deny those charges.
Judge Richard Foster told the jury of eight men and four women that the trial is expected to last up to eight weeks.