'We were engulfed in darkness when we lost our brother Badri - we never imagined our family would be destroyed by such senseless violence'

-Credit: (Image: GMP)
-Credit: (Image: GMP)

Last October, Badri Issa was on his way home from his first day working as a delivery driver for Amazon. He rang his mum to tell her how it went and to ask what they were having for tea.

He got home, ate with his family, prayed, relaxed, then left the house with his friend to go to an MMA class - a new hobby. While on their way, a white car pulled up next to them as they drove along Princess Road.

Raami Mohamed, driving, motioned for them to pull over. What followed would destroy a family. Both cars turned onto Moss Lane East and parked in the bus lay-by. Mohamed confronted Badri’s friend, before Badri got out of the car to de-escalate the situation, acting as a peacemaker.

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He put his hands up in a gesture for them to ‘chill’. As tensions rose, Mohamed pulled a knife and stabbed Badri in the chest. As Badri lay dying, Mohamed and his co-defendant, Kevell Blake, fled. Today, June 7, Mohamed was jailed for life for Badri’s murder.

During a tense sentencing hearing, the courtroom was packed full of members of the family for Badri, as well as for both defendants. Prosecutor Richard Pratt KC read statements from Badri’s family, which spoke of his talent and intelligence, graduating university with a 2:1 in mechanical engineering at Manchester Metropolitan University.

He was employed at Lancashire Cricket Club and also worked as a fundraising volunteer, raising £150,000 for charity. He had begun working as an Amazon delivery driver, with his first day of employment being the day of his death. Badri had planned to move to Qatar in December last year to begin working as a mechanical engineering graduate. But sadly his dreams were cut short on October 25.

-Credit:MEN Media
-Credit:MEN Media

Taking to the witness box, Badri’s older brother Gulad Issa spoke of the impact of his life and his loss. Holding back tears, he said: “On the evening of October 25 2023, a light went out of our lives and our lives were engulfed in darkness. Normal life ceased to exist for us when we lost our loved brother, Badri.

“He was not just a son or a brother or a friend - he was the anchor to our family - the one who held us together and always put others before him without a moment’s hesitation. He was the person we all turned to for support and wisdom and guidance.”

He said times spent with Badri, including walking to school, going to mosque or meal times were fondly cherished, but were simply memories. Gulad added: “Our family grew up in an area known for its challenges, but our parents worked tirelessly to keep us safe and instilled into us the values of kindness and respect. They believed all the worst days were behind us.

“That we were adults making our way in the world and that Badri in particular was a good man on the brink of his potential. We never imagined our family would be destroyed by the kind of senseless violence that has become all too commonplace.

“How many more families will have to endure this pain? We ask that you reflect on the greater context of this epidemic of knife violence that continues to plague our society. Too many families are being torn apart, too many lives are being senselessly cut short. How many more parents must bury their children? How many more siblings must mourn the loss of their brothers and sisters due to cowardly acts? This cycle of violence must end.”

Of his death, he said it had devastated the community and many had asked which of the brother’s life had been cut short. “When they were told it was Badri, they referred to him as the one who was always smiling,” Gulad wept.

Raami Mohammed -Credit:GMP
Raami Mohammed -Credit:GMP

“The anguish deepened when the answer was yes. Badri was beloved by everyone. He will always be remembered as the smiling light in our lives. He was on the cusp of achieving his dreams. He had worked hard all his life and had just graduated from university. He was set to begin a promising career in Qatar, but those dreams were stolen from him.

“We were denied the joy of witnessing him flourish. How many more dreams must come to an end like this, with so much potential and hope for a future, just like Badri. All because of inhumane, selfish and cowardice acts.” He said those responsible had no remorse. “How can anyone expect a family to cope with this loss that could have been avoided?” Gulad asked.

He said his brother’s faith was the ‘cornerstone of his life’, and that during Ramadan and Eid, the family felt his absence in the empty seat at the dinner table and the ‘silence’.

“We still can’t believe that Badri is gone. We long for the day when we wake up from this nightmare and see him walk through the front door laughing and smiling,” his older brother continued.

He told the court that during the trial, the family had to endure the added torment of hearing ‘lies’ about Badri. “Badri’s name was being twisted and tarnished with claims he was a violent person - something he never was,” he said, looking at the dock.

“Listening to this misinformation whilst mourning his death was a cruel burden to bear. He was a compassionate soul, he sought peace and kindness. He is not here to defend himself. As a practising Muslim family, we hold steadfast and believe that every soul shall taste death, for that is the nature of life. However, no human being deserves to have their life oppressively taken from them by another’s hands without right.”

Addressing Mohamed, he said: “To those responsible sat in the dock today - remember that the weight of your actions extends beyond this life and into the hereafter - remember that. You will get what you deserve for what you have done to our beloved Badri. An innocent life who’s light will live in our hearts forever, no matter what.”