TWO immigrant builders battered their boss to death with a mallet and a pan in a plot to rob him, a court heard.

Father-of-three Pavaiz Iqbal was found slumped behind the front door of his home in Birkdale Gardens, Deane, in December 2006.

A trial at Manchester Crown Court yesterday heard that Czech nationals Jiri Motl, aged 33, and Vladimir Brandejs, aged 27, were employed by Mr Iqbal, aged 41, in his building firm.

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Neil Flewitt QC, prosecuting, told the court that Brandejs had pleaded guilty to the murder of Mr Iqbal and that it was the prosecution’s case that Motl acted together with him to murder Mr Iqbal in a bid to rob him.

The court heard that the pair decided they would hit Mr Iqbal over the head with a mallet, rob him, and then give him some sleeping pills to make sure that they would have enough time to escape back to Prague in the Czech Republic.

On the morning of December 18, 2006, the two men left the flat that they shared in Derby Street, Bolton, at around 6.30am to meet Mr Iqbal at his home address in Birkdale Gardens after he had agreed to give them a lift to Manchester Airport so they could both go home for Christmas.

When they got to his home the victim made the pair a cup of tea but after a while Motl went into the hallway and pretended to be looking for something there.

He called Mr Iqbal into the hallway and kept him talking while Brandejs retrieved the mallet he had brought with him.

Mr Flewitt said: “Vladimir Brandejs then followed Mr Iqbal into the hallway and struck him from behind to the back of his head Pavaiz Iqbal stumbled forward at which point Jiri Motl shouted at Vladimir Brandejs to hit him again.

“Brandejs struck Pavaiz Iqbal several times more at the back of the head, but each time he tried to get up. Brandejs tried to hit Pavaiz Iqbal one further time but the head came off the mallet.”

While Brandejs was battering Mr Iqbal, Motl was shouting, “hit him, hit him again, he mustn’t get up”.

When the head came off the mallet, Motl went into the kitchen and returned carrying a pan which he told Brandejs to use to hit the victim again. Brandejs refused, so Motl hit Mr Iqbal two or three times with the pan until the handle broke, said Mr Flewitt.

“As Pavaiz Iqbal was still trying to get up, Jiri Motl stamped repeatedly on his back until he stopped moving,” said Mr Flewitt.

Once Mr Iqbal had stopped moving, Brandejs put on a pair of rubber gloves and went through his pockets, stealing around £600 in cash.

Motl then went into one of the bedrooms and got a blanket to cover Mr Iqbal’s head. He also got a cloth and tried to clean his bloodstained handprints from the hallway.

The court heard, after they had beaten and robbed Mr Iqbal, that the pair made their way back to Derby Street in a bid to make good their escape to Manchester Airport, but they had left their flat keys back at the victim’s house. When the pair tried to go back to the house they were unable to get in.

The two men then caught a taxi from Bolton train station to Manchester Airport where they had to buy new tickets back to Prague that day.

They then also made a quick trip from the airport to Manchester town centre where they dumped various belongings and items of bloody clothing before boarding their flight.

The court also heard how the two men dumped a whisky bottle containing the sedative Nytol in shrubs near the airport’s Terminal 2. The bottle was later discovered by police.

Mr Flewitt said that, upon their arrival in the Czech Republic, Motl gave Brandejs about £230 to change into Czech currency.

Mr Flewitt also said that Motl had stolen Mr Iqbal’s gold Nokia 8800 mobile phone which he then sold on December 19 at a mobile phone shop called Mobiland in the Czech Republic.

The body of Mr Iqbal was discovered by a friend of his at around 5pm on December 18 when the man looked through his letterbox after nobody answered his front door and saw him lying in the hallway.

Police attended and Mr Iqbal was found lying in a pool of blood partially covered with a quilt. He was already dead. Police found the head of a mallet and a saucepan nearby.

A post mortem later found that Mr Iqbal had died of multiple blunt force head injuries.

Motl and Brandejs were extradicted from the Czech Republic in June 2007. Motl denies murder claiming that it was Brandejs alone who carried out the murder.

Proceeding

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