Ilford hammer attack accused walks free after witness no show

A hammer attack suspect who allegedly left a teenager in a coma has walked free today after the victim’s friends refused to give evidence in court.

Mohammed Hassan, 27, was said to have repeatedly battered Arafath Rahman around the head with a claw hammer in Griggs Approach flyover car park, Ilford and allegedly left the 17-year-old for dead.

Prosecutors claimed Hassan was part of a gang of up to 10 armed thugs who attacked Mr Rahman and his friends as they celebrated the end of Ramadan.

Mr Rahman, now aged 21, suffered a series of injuries including a 2cm deep depression fracture to his skull and fell into a coma after the incident.

He later regained consciousness but remains paralysed in hospital, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard.

But four key witnesses to the attack, who were also assaulted in December 2007, all failed to come to court to give evidence.

It is the second time the case against Hassan has collapsed after a first trial was abandoned last year amid allegations that a prosecution witness had been nobbled.

Most Read

Now Mr Rahman’s friends, who originally identified Hassan and his pal Shorif Khan, 27, as the attackers, are being hunted by police after Judge Simon Wilkinson issued arrest warrants.

Khan, of Hathaway Crescent, Manor Park was cleared following the first trial after prosecutors dropped charges.

Hassan, of Glen Park Road, Forest Gate has now also been cleared of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and violent disorder on the direction of Judge Wilkinson

Naming Forhad Uddin, Moinul Miah, Saif Uddin and Abdul Lotif, Judge Wilkinson said: “This week I issued warrants for their arrest and it is clear to me they are in breach of their duty to attend this court.”

Detectives originally launched a murder enquiry after being told Mr Rahman was unlikely to pull through.