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Teenagers guilty of murdering innocent student in Manga-inspired 'revenge' attack

A jury at the Old Bailey found two 14-year-old boys guilty of murdering 19-year-old student Hussein Ahmed
Emily Pennink

TWO 14-year-old street gangsters have been found guilty of murdering an innocent teenager in a revenge attack, likened by one of them to a popular Japanese Manga anime series.

The boys stalked and then knifed "peaceful" university student Hussein Ahmed (19), outside South Harrow Tube station.

A jury at the Old Bailey found the boys guilty of murder as well as the wounding and attempted wounding of two 17-year-old boys.

They reacted with tears and wailing in the dock when they were convicted, with one of them being taken away as he shouted "I can't breathe, I can't breathe."

A 16-year-old, who is a talented footballer, was cleared of involvement, while a fourth suspect was said to have fled abroad.

The court heard both 14-year-olds had previous convictions, one for kicking a young girl in the back and the other for following another schoolboy on the bus to steal his mobile phone.

Following the convictions, Catteyeh Ahmed described seeing his son "fighting for his life" in hospital after he had only recently started a business management degree at university.

He said: "We never expected something like this could happen. Hussein was only 19-years-old – a young age to have your life taken from you.

"We hope no family has to go through what we went though. Nothing we can do or say will bring him back. We hope justice will be served for this mindless, violent action."

Sharmarke Ahmed said his brother loved football, enrolled in university to "please his parents" and was described by his close friends as a "peaceful person who would never hurt anyone."

The boys were remanded in custody to be sentenced on July 24 when Judge Anthony Leonard QC will consider whether orders banning naming them should be lifted.

During the trial, prosecutor Anthony Orchard QC had told jurors it was a "senseless" and "unprovoked" murder.

He said: "It is clear that these four youths set out in the taxi that Friday afternoon from Hendon to seek out a youth or youths in the Harrow area with the sole purpose of attacking and stabbing them.

"This wasn't a plan to rob, it was a plan to stab. It wasn't a shopping trip. There was no other purpose to their 14-mile round trip and each of them must have been fully aware this was the case."

The 14-year-olds, known Grahame Park Estate gang members, acted in retribution for an attack on one of their own, carried out two days previously.

The court heard how one of them had tried to visit his injured gang member in hospital the day before, but found he had been so badly beaten he was in an induced coma, the Old Bailey heard.

Then, on November 18 last year, the defendants armed themselves with at least two knives as they decided to strike, jurors were told.

They took a minicab from their home turf in Hendon, north-west London, and told the driver to wait while they scouted for victims on the streets of Harrow.

First they looked outside a McDonald's, where one of them had been stabbed three months earlier, and then they were dropped off at South Harrow Tube, where they targeted three random teenagers.

Mr Ahmed was stabbed once in the back and suffered massive blood loss. He died in hospital three days later.

A 17-year-old was stabbed in the arm and stomach while another narrowly avoided injury as a knifeman slashed the sleeve of his jacket.

The attacks took no more than eight minutes and on their return to the minicab, the boys told the driver: "Drive boss."

During the trial, a letter emerged in which the stabber explained to his hospitalised friend that he went "super saiyan" if anyone picked on one of his crew, a reference to an explosive character in the Japanese Dragon Ball series.

He told the boy he did not "blem you for getting done, your my nigga I love you and for my Congolese brothers (sic)", adding: "If anyone touches any of my niggas I go super saiyan."

The 14-year-old, who declined to give evidence, also wrote a secret note, which was seized during the course of the trial, in which he attempted to influence the defence of the cleared defendant.

The other 14-year-old, who acted as a look-out, said he was told by the fourth suspect he was going to sort out some "beef".

The court was told the boy had been present at two previous stabbings and four knives were later seized from his bedroom.

One of them had distinctive holes on the blade similar to the murder weapon, which was never recovered.

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