Illegal immigrant hacks father-of-three to death with an axe after he was caught stealing

Muhammed, 31, wheeled the body in a shopping trolley from a nearby supermarket and dumped it in undergrowth at Ilford Cemetery, the Old Bailey heard

                            Illegal immigrant hacks father-of-three to death with an axe after he was caught stealing
(Source:Getty Images)

An illegal immigrant who brutally axed a colleague to death in a carpet shop because he feared losing his job and possibly being deported has been jailed.

Imran Muhammad, 31, sliced and hacked at 49-year-old Syed Khan at least 12 times after the dad-of-seven accused him of stealing money from the till. He then wheeled him in a Homebase trolley to a graveyard where he dumped the body.

The Pakistani immigrant was afraid of losing his job and being sent home and googled “how to kill a man with a hammer” and “brain injury kill a man” as he hatched his murderous plan.

On January 24, he called Khan and said he needed his help before turning off the lights and pulling down the shutters at the carpet shop in Ilford, east London, before launching the attack. He then mopped up the blood and painted the walls of the shop before going to Homebase and collecting a trolley which he then used to hide the body in a graveyard.

Judge Anne Molyneux said: “You we’re ready for him, you put off the lights, the shutters were closed. You has placed an axe, which you had used a day or so earlier to dismantle furniture, either in the office area of the shop or in the kitchen nearby.

“Within a short time after his arrival Khan was dead. You attacked him savagely and brutally with an axe. You hit him to the head a minimum of 12 times. The force was so great that you fractured his skull. His brain was visible even before his head was opened by the pathologist.

“Injury to the back of Khan’s left hand shows that he tried to defend himself. Bones in his hand were fractured, consistent with a blunt force axe injury. He never stood a chance against you.”

Muhammad came to Britain from Pakistan on a student visa in 2011 but rather than study he chose to work and despite his visa having expired in March 2013, he remained in the country illegally. He made and withdrew asylum applications and was required to sign on with immigration authorities every two months and worked at the carpet shop, despite not being permitted to do so.

In 2016 he committed and was convicted of seven burglaries and was jailed last year but when he was released he met Ali, the owner of furniture shop AZ in Seven Kings, Ilford, east London.

In January, Khan discovered the till was short and Muhammad claimed he had lost the money and begged his colleague to keep his secret. After he hid the body and cleaned up Muhammad called 999 and claimed he was attacked by an unknown man and received treatment for a cut forearm at hospital.

He was discharged and rushed back to the shop where he nicked £250 from the till and boarded a bus to Glasgow before he was finally arrested for Khan’s murder.

At the Old Bailey on Friday Judge Molyneux jailed Muhammad for a minimum of 24 years after he was convicted of murder. At the start of his trial he admitted perverting the course of justice and was handed five years behind bars, to run concurrently.

Judge Molyneux said: “You we’re afraid that you would lose your job, you told Khan that you had made a mistake. You told him that wherever you went you committed wrongdoing. You said you would never succeed in life.

“You are a liar, a manipulator and a thief and had once again been suspected of stealing. This murder was, at least in part, to ensure that you did not risk losing your job and so there is an extent to which it was for gain. You intended to kill Khan and you did so, the attack was ferocious.”

After Muhammad was convicted Detective Inspector Catino of the Homicide and Major Crime Command, who led the murder investigation, said: “I am pleased that the jury has seen straight through Imran 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 refuse to accept responsibility for his actions - this included brazenly lying to Seyed's family who he knew were desperately worried about him.

"Syed 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."


In a victim impact statement Syed’s eldest son Khalil Khan said: “I want to make this statement Syed Khan and how his death affected me and my family.

“My dad was a kind loving and caring man who would always put others before himself. He would always offer to help those who needed it and was well respected amongst his friends and within the community.

“My father who was the only breadwinner worked hard to support his family which consisted of my mother and seven children, the youngest is only 6. Although I am only 22, I have now had to become head of my family and look after my mother, brothers and sisters.

“‘Not only have we had to deal with grief and pain of having him taken from us in such terrible circumstances but we have also had to hear him be wrongfully accused of sexual behaviour in a clear attempt to attack and ruin his perfect image even after his death."

“This has only added to the immense sense of grief we feel. His death has had a huge impact on our lives which have now been changed forever. We has such a happy, caring and joyful family.

“This has now been destroyed forever by an awful, heartless act that none of us deserved. Although justice may prevail in the eyes of the law as a family we will never revive the justice of having our father back.

“I hope no one ever faces the trial of losing their loved one in such a horrible way. My dad may now be gone but he will never be forgotten. He has left a void in our lives that can never be replaced or filled with another.

“We miss him so much.”

Author: Adam Bennett

© South West News Service