Seyed Khan killer convicted for hacking father-of-seven to death with an axe in Ilford
- Credit: Archant
An axe-wielding shop assistant has been found guilty of hacking a colleague to death in Ilford amid fears of being sent back to Pakistan.
Imran Muhammed, 31, attacked married father-of-seven Seyed Khan, 49, who suspected him of stealing money.
Mr Khan was taken by surprise and suffered at least 12 blows to the head when he turned up for a shift at A-Z Furniture and Carpets in High Road, Ilford on January 24.
Muhammed, 31, then wheeled the body in a shopping trolley from a nearby supermarket and dumped it in undergrowth at Ilford cemetery, jurors heard.
He went on to clean up the blood and “coolly and deliberately”.
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He painted over the walls in the shop and called the shop owner to tell him he was worried about Mr Khan who had visited earlier but left his car parked outside hours later.
He then called the police to report he had been robbed and slashed with glass on the arm to “spin a false story”, the Old Bailey was told.
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Mr Khan’s body was found eight days later after a search with a specially trained police dog, and the defendant was arrested in Glasgow.
Prosecutor Tim Cray said the defendant did not dispute the killing or that he tried to cover his tracks, but claimed loss of control following a sexual advance.
He said: “The defendant claims that Seyed was trying to blackmail and rape him and that as a result, he snapped, lost his self-control and killed Seyed.”
But the prosecution assert the defendant had lied and it was a “planned and deliberate murder”.
In the weeks before the killing, the victim told his wife that an employee had been stealing money but begged him to take pity.
Muhammed had previous convictions for dishonesty and was an “over-stayer” in the country, giving him a motive to kill, the court heard.
Jurors were told that four days before the attack, Muhammed searched the internet for “how to kill a man with a hammer”, with a punch, and “brain injuries”.
The defendant, from Swindon Close, Seven Kings denied murder, maintaining he was being sexually attacked.
A jury rejected his explanation and convicted him by a majority of 11 to one after 13 hours and 25 minutes of deliberation
He was remanded in custody to be sentenced on Friday.
Devi Kharran from the CPS, said: “This was a brutal and premeditated attack on a hardworking family man - Imran Muhammad went out of his way to cover his tracks.
“After murdering Mr Khan he painted over bloodstains in the shop and also called the police claiming to have been robbed and injured by a stranger, leading to him being taken to hospital.
“In the days that followed police put out numerous appeals in search for Mr Khan while all along Muhammad knew that he had murdered him. It was eight days until Mr Khan’s body was found and by that time Muhammad had fled to Glasgow.
“Using forensic evidence, witness accounts and CCTV footage showing Muhammad’s journey to the cemetery where Mr Khan’s body was found, the prosecution was able to prove Muhammad had deliberately carried out this murder.
“I hope this conviction brings some closure to the family and friends of Mr Khan.”