Killer loses appeal against sentence for death of man whose thumb was found in Ilford

A murderer jailed after his victim’s thumb was discovered on waste ground in Ilford has had his sentence challenge turned down by judges today.

Sharif Mohammed, 39, of Vista Drive, Redbridge, was one of five people convicted in connection with the disappearance of take-away worker Mahmood Ahmad.

He was attacked by his brother-in-law Mohammed Riaz, as Riaz tried to hunt down his wife, Nahid Ahmad.

Riaz had a history of harassing his wife and had kidnapped her brother Mr Ahmad, from his home in Radlett Road, Watford, in a bid to discover where she was hiding.

Mr Ahmad’s body was never found and the only trace of his remains was a lone thumb from his left hand discovered by a security guard on wasteground in Ilford.

It was clear that he had been abducted and severely tortured in the hours before his death.

The prosecution claimed Mr Ahmad was killed with a bottle or knife, and his body dismembered with a butcher’s saw, said Lady Lady Justice Rafferty.

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Riaz, 34, was jailed for life in March last year at St Albans Crown Court after he was convicted of Mr Ahmad’s murder.

Sharif Mohammed was likewise convicted of murder, also receiving a life sentence.

The judge imposed a 26-year minimum term on Mohammed.

Mohammed’s case reached the Appeal Court today as his lawyers attacked the 26-year term as excessive.

They argued he had played a “subordinate” role in the killing and should have received a far lighter sentence than Riaz.

There was no evidence that Mohammed had a grudge against Mr Ahmad, they claimed, and he had “come on the scene late in the day”.

But Lady Justice Rafferty said Mohammed had had the chance to take Mr Ahmad to hospital, which he failed to do.