Kan Singh a market trader from Romford has defended himself in front of a Romford Jury in the Hornchurch explosion case. Mr Singh told the jury that he did not sell more than 200 gas canisters to one of the men on trial in connection with the explosion.
Kan Singh was cross-examined during proceedings at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Friday October 18 in the trial of Ben Beavis, 28, and Curtis Lepley, 36, reports the Romford Reporter.
The duo are charged with arson after an explosion and fire at the Bridge Point flats, Southend Arterial Road, at around 5 pm on January 23, 2017. The court was informed that Mr Singh has had a stall in Romford Market since 2014 and sells smoking accessories, electronic cigarettes and e-liquids.
Ken Millett, the prosecutor, told the court that Mr Beavis and Mr Lepley had acquired and stored more than 200 butane gas canisters in Bridge Point’s ground floor Flat 12, “in their quest to make cannabis oil”.
During Friday’s hearing, Mr Millett asked if Mr Singh had ever sold anyone 205 canisters, Mr Singh said: “No. These cans are quite heavy and you cannot even transport them in the van.”
He told the court that there were never more than 20 cans on his stall at any one time.
But Philip Misner, representing Mr Lepley, accused Mr Singh of lying to the jury, and told him that he had sold a quantity of 205 or 208 canisters in Romford Market.
He put it to Mr Singh that two men came to see him at his stall asking about smoking accessories.
Mr Singh said he did not recall this.
Mr Misner then said the men asked about buying more than 100 canisters, but Mr Singh said: “Nobody has ever asked me how many canisters they need.”
The barrister then alleged that the men came back the next day and collected their canisters from Mr Singh.
The trader replied: “I did not sell, how could I know of this?”
Mr Misner retorted: “It was you who sold these cans to Mr Lepley and the man with him.”
“No I did not”, Mr Singh said.
During the prosecution opening on Thursday, the court was told the explosion and fire led to 30 people being evacuated, with five people being injured and two women and a child having to be rescued.
Mr Beavis, of Church Road, Harold Wood, and Mr Lepley, of St John Close, Collier Row, both deny arson being reckless as to whether life is endangered.
The trial continues.