A violent teenage thug who fatally stabbed an Afghan refugee with a Rambo knife has today been jailed for a decade.
The boy, 17, plunged the lethal weapon into 18-year-old Hazrat Wali’s chest in Craneford Way Playing Fields in Twickenham in front of horrified children.
The killing was carried out with a 20cm weapon the teen had hidden in bushes near a magistrates’ court, where hours earlier he had been sentenced for possession of an identical knife.
Hazrat was attacked after he complained about the teen making racist comments about girls in hijabs. He was knifed in the chest, with the blade puncturing 10cm into his liver.
The promising cricketer, from Notting Hill, died of a massive blood loss an hour after the stabbing on October 12, 2021.
Afghan refugee Hazrat Wali, 18, was fatally stabbed on October 12 2021 by a teenager armed with a 20cm Rambo knife
The youth admitted wielding a knife within hours of leaving a magistrates’ court, but denied he intended to cause student Mr Wali really serious harm.
A jury at the Old Bailey found him not guilty of murder but guilty of the lesser alternative charge of manslaughter.
The court heard how the teenager was caught with a knife at Southside shopping centre in Wandsworth two months before the killing, on August 5 2021.
He pleaded guilty to that offence and was given a youth rehabilitation order at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court on the morning of the killing.
Judge Sarah Plaschkes KC sentenced him to 10 years and eight months’ detention at the Old Bailey on Friday.
She told the youth: ‘When you stabbed Hazrat he was unarmed and outnumbered by you and your friends.’
She said he made a ‘deliberate decision to carry a fearsome weapon’ that day, adding: ‘You told the jury that you took the knife to the magistrates’ court. You left it in some bushes outside and collected it once the hearing concluded.’
The court heard how Hazrat had fled war-torn Afghanistan at the age of 12. His twin brother was separated from him and deported back to Afghanistan as they journeyed through Europe. He finally arrived in July last year to find out his brother had been stabbed to death.
Hazrat (pictured), a promising cricketer from Notting Hill, London, had been spending time with friends in Craneford Way Playing Fields in Twickenham when he was fatally stabbed. He had fled from Afghanistan to the UK for a ‘better life’, a court heard
The defendant went to a nearby McDonald’s with his friends after the killing and assaulted a female employee in the restaurant.
Earlier that day, he had been given a rehabilitation order for possession of a Rambo knife.
The teenager had also been banned from college and schools because of his violent behaviour and was placed in a pupil referral unit. Since killing Hazrat he has since been convicted for violence in prison after being convicted for robbery in 2020.
He glorified and boasted about his violence in telephone calls, the court heard.
Children playing rugby in the fields saw the stabbing and staff gave first aid and recorded some of the incident. One pupil recalled the defendant saying something about girls in hijab and Hazrat saying it was racist.
The 17-year-old killer claimed he had been acting in self-defence and believed Hazrat was also armed.
Wearing glasses and a Nike jumper, he showed no emotion as he was jailed today.
‘This senseless loss of life was caused by your decision to carry a knife,’ Judge Plaschkes said. ‘There was no good reason for you to have a large black knife hidden in your clothing.’
The judge said his conviction for possession of a Rambo knife was ‘the clearest warning that you must not carry a knife’.
‘You chose to ignore that warning,’ she said.
The killer, who was 16 at the time of the stabbing, claimed he had been acting in self-defence (pictured are police at the scene of the attack)
Hazrat’s older brother Mohamed Ashuk, who has lived in the UK for 20 years, told the court his sibling came to London from Afghanistan ‘hoping for a safer life’.
He added: ‘He was just settling into college and enjoying his new life in London and he wanted to study and become an engineer.’
Mr Ashuk said his children are afraid to leave the house for fear of being stabbed.
The court heard Hazrat’s twin brother was ‘traumatised’ by the news of his death when he arrived in the UK.
‘He thought he would be reunited with his brother after travelling here from Afghanistan,’ Mr Ashuk said.
The elder sibling continued: ‘This was no accident but it was a deliberate and violent attack which has left me and my family in a state of devastation.’
The court heard that Hazrat had been sitting in the park with Mariam Ahmadazai, a female friend, when they were approached by the defendant and five other teenagers.
Prosecutor Jacob Hallam KC had said that one of the girls in the group made a comment that the pair ‘looked nice together’. The defendant, then aged 16, began swearing at Hazrat.
‘Hazrat got to his feet and approached the defendant, and the defendant said to him “Come at me then” and pushed Hazrat,’ Mr Hallam said.
The teenage defendant, who can’t be identified due to his age, was cleared of murder but convicted of manslaughter. He has now been jailed for 10 years. Pictured is Craneford Way Playing Fields in Twickenham
The defendant then produced a black knife, with ‘zig-zag-shaped lines’ along the top, the prosecutor said.
‘There is little wonder, then, that when faced with it Hazrat thought he needed help,’ Mr Hallam added.
‘Here was someone who had approached him, insulted him, and who was armed with that knife. The only thing Hazrat had in his hand was a mobile telephone.’
Hazrat was stabbed to the right side of his body. Fatally injured, Mr Wali grabbed the defendant’s jacket and asked: ‘Why did you stab me?’
The killer ran over a footbridge to Marsh Farm Road and threw his blue jacket over a fence. Emergency services attended but could not save Mr Wali’s life.
Defence lawyer Garry Green said his client’s life had been characterised by ‘accumulated disadvantage’.
He said he had been overseen by social services since he was two-years-old as a result of witnessing domestic violence as a child.
He attended several schools before being home schooled and placed in a pupil referral unit.
Mr Green said he had been exploited by a County Lines drug gang and had been stabbed as a result. He argued this was a case of excessive force used in self-defence.
In calls from prison the defendant said he was acting in self-defence, saying it was ‘just anger’ and the stabbing was ‘a way to release your anger’, the court heard.
He told the court Mr Wali had headbutted him and he was scared when he heard him calling a friend for ‘back up’.
The 17-year-old denied and was cleared of murder but was convicted of manslaughter.
He admitted affray and assault occasioning actual bodily harm in relation to the incident in McDonald’s.
He was sentenced to 10 years in custody, the first part of which will be served in a young offenders’ institution.