Do not carry knives, urge family of stabbing victim Thomas Roberts

The family of a man who was stabbed to death on a night out with friends has called for people to stop carrying knives.

Thomas Roberts, 21, was killed in a “violent and unnecessary” attack in the early hours of March 12 last year.

On Monday Lawangeen Abdulrahimzai, an Afghan asylum seeker, was found guilty of murder by a majority verdict at Salisbury Crown Court.

Lawangeen Abdulrahimzai
Lawangeen Abdulrahimzai (Dorset Police/PA)

Mr Roberts was acting as a “peacemaker” after his friend James Medway got into an argument with Abdulrahimzai outside a sandwich shop in Bournemouth.

Mr Medway wanted to take an e-scooter Abdulrahimzai had claimed and left propped against the window of the shop in Old Christchurch Road.

The confrontation, which lasted only 24 seconds, saw Mr Roberts slap Abdulrahimzai in the face.

Abdulrahimzai then revealed a knife hidden between the two pairs of trousers he was wearing and stabbed Mr Roberts twice before running away into nearby woodland.

Mr Roberts was taken to hospital but died of his injuries during surgery.

After the verdict Mr Roberts’ family released a statement paying tribute to him and pleading for knife violence to end.

The statement said: “The family of Thomas Roberts cannot describe the loss of their son, brother, partner, friend in the tragic circumstances of his violent and unnecessary death.

“Thomas was loved by many people and continues to be loved in his absence.

“He was a bright young man with a sense humour, an active sportsman and loved his DJing in his spare time.

“He had a potentially fulfilling future to look forward to, whether that be in his profession of precision engineer or his potential in the military.

“Thomas was a normal, kind person, who had enjoyed life. On the night of his tragic death, he was in town with friends having good time when he was suddenly involved in an incident involving a large knife that cost him his life.

“The family would like this to be a warning to everyone not to carry knives so other families do not suffer in the way we as a family are suffering now.”