Seven Kings axe-wielding killer jailed for life
PUBLISHED: 14:34 20 July 2018 | UPDATED: 14:34 20 July 2018
A Seven Kings man who hacked his colleague to death with a metal axe in Ilford has been jailed for life at the Old Bailey today (July, 20).
Imran Muhammad, 31, of Swindon Close, was ordered to serve a minimum of 24 years in jail after being found guilty of the murder of 49-year-old Seyed Khan at the same court on Thursday, July 19.
Muhammad was also found guilty of perverting the course of justice and was jailed for five years - the sentences will run concurrently.
The court heard how Muhammad, who was employed at A-Z Carpets on High Road, Ilford, was left in charge of running the shop while the owner was out of the country.
Seyed, who was a friend of the owner, had been helping by carrying out deliveries in the evening. On the evening of January, 24, Seyed told his family he was going to the shop to do some deliveries.
CCTV footage, which was subsequently gathered as part of the investigation, showed Seyed parking his car in the street outside the shop and entering the premises at around 6pm - he was not seen alive again.
At around 6.10pm the shutters on the shop were seen to come down and the internal lights turned off.
In that short period of time, Seyed had entered the shop and been attacked with an axe by Muhammad, sustaining fatal head injuries in the process.
As Seyed lay dying on the floor, Muhammad began a futile attempt to cover his tracks which included moving the body, redecorating the shop and attempting to dispose of incriminating evidence.
At around 01.20am on January 25, CCTV captured Muhammad wheeling a shopping trolley down the High Road towards a cemetery.
Seyed’s body was concealed inside this trolley and Muhammad dumped the corpse, along with other items, in the cemetery.
Having returned to the shop, Muhammad disposed of a number of items in bins situated at the rear of the premises.
He attempted to clean up the area where he had attacked Seyed, by repainting an interior wall where blood marks had been left.
Muhammad also made a call to the owner of the shop in an attempt to deflect attention away from him, pretending he was concerned for Seyed’s welfare.
He concocted a story that Seyed had turned up at work the previous evening and then left the shop to take a phone call after which he did not return.
On the morning of 25 January, Seyed’s family - concerned that they could not contact him - raised the alarm and contacted police.
He was initially treated as a missing person. Later that morning friends and family members of Seyed went to the shop to try and trace his movements and spoke to Muhammad.
He reiterated the story that Seyed had left the shop and not returned.
After speaking to the family, Muhammad left the shop and, no doubt fearing that his story would soon be picked apart, he travelled to Victoria Coach Station and fled on a coach to Glasgow.
Officers called in to investigate Seyed’s apparent disappearance discovered traces of his blood at the shop.
On February, 1, the body was found in the cemetery off High Road, Ilford and that same day Muhammad was arrested in Glasgow before being brought down to London for questioning.
The axe used to attack Seyed was also found on the route between the shop and the cemetery.
A post-mortem examination at East Ham Mortuary on Friday, February, 2 established that Seyed had died as a result of extensive head injuries.
Despite Muhammad refusing to accept responsibility for his actions, detectives began to unpick the events of that fateful evening.
Interviews with Seyed’s family revealed he had caught Muhammad stealing from the shop and that Muhammad had begged for him not to tell the owner.
While Muhammad had never admitted this, it is strongly suspected this was the motive for the attack.
It was also established that Muhammad was illegally living in the UK and he feared he would be deported back to Pakistan if he came to the attention of the authorities.
Det Insp Domenica Catino of the Homicide and Major Crime Command led the investigation into the murder.
She said:”This is a significant sentence which reflects the seriousness of this crime.
“Imran Muhammad went to great lengths to avoid justice but today he has been made to face the consequences of his actions.
“The jury saw straight through Muhammad ‘s feeble lies as he attempted to deflect the blame from himself and have found him guilty of this horrific murder.
“From the outset, he has chosen to try and cover his tracks rather than accept responsibility for his actions - this included brazenly lying to Seyed’s family who he knew were desperately worried about him.
“Seyed was a hard-working, family man who strived to provide for his wife and children. In the cruellest of circumstances, he has been taken away from his family by the selfish actions of a cowardly man.”
Seyed’s oldest son Khalil Khan said they are left with a void in their lives that can never be filled.
“My dad was a kind, loving and caring man who would always put others before himself,” he said.
“His death has had a huge impact on our lives, which have now changed forever.
“We had such a happy, caring and joyful family. This has now been destroyed forever by an awful, heartless act that none of us deserved.
“We have been left with a void in our lives that can never be filled. We all miss him so much.”
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