The jury in the trial of three young men from Poplar accused of killing Ajmol Alom has delivered a “guilty” verdict. Ajmol’s family responded by thanking police and the Crown Prosecution service for bringing Ajmol’s killers to trial.
Sixteen year old Ajmol was murdered last August, just before his GCSE results came out. Released after his death, they indicated that he had been well on course to realising his dream to study medicine. Ajmol and his friend Azime Rob had been playing football in the nearby Brownfields Park and were just chilling out, yards from their homes in Spey Street, when they were attacked – in Ajmol’s case, fatally. His mother was called and was able to be with her son for the last minutes of his life.
The attack was carried out without warning by a small gang, rudimentarily disguised in hoodies and scarves, arrived and attacked the boys without provocation or warning. The gang were carrying knives and blades.
The police were quick to identify the suspects, helped both by local CCTV footage and by witness statements from members of the public. They were therefore able to obtain forensic evidence which helped to convict the suspects.
Those found guilty of murder of Ajmol and with causing Grievous Bodily Harm to Azime are:
Aminur Khan, 19, from Robin Hood Gardens;
Ali Akbar Choudhury, 20, from John Smith Mews;
Mashudur Rahman, 23, from Victoria Street in Stratford.
The three will appear at Snaresbrook Crown Court on 2nd May for sentencing. A fourth man, Muhammod Malik, 21, was acquitted.
The charges were laid on the basis that the attack was a “joint enterprise”, meaning that all three could be tried as murderers because they went out that day prepared to kill, although probably only one made the fatal blow.
Ajmol’s family thanked the community for helping to find the suspects. They concluded their statement by looking forward: “We can only hope other young people turn away from violence and knife crime.” The police emphasised that under “joint enterprise”, anyone who goes out with other youths whom they know to be carrying knives can potentially be charged arising from the consequences of those others using the knife. As Detective Inspector Juie Willats put it: “You don’t have to have your hand on the knife to have blood on your hands.”
Perhaps after the sentencing next month, the family and the local community will be able to feel that although nothing can bring Ajmol back, at least justice has been done. There is, however, a big gap in the community: although many are hoping that this will be the last ever gang knife crime, it is not clear that anything special is being done to make sure that is the case.