Youth sentenced to 10 years for killing Afghan refugee hours after leaving court for knife possession

A youth has been sentenced to 10 years for fatally stabbing an Afghan refugee in a southwest London park, hours after appearing in court for possessing a knife.

Hazrat Wali,18, died in hospital after suffering a 10cm deep wound in Craneford Way Playing Fields, Twickenham, in October.

A 17-year-old was sentenced on Friday to 10 years detention by judge Sarah Plaschkes KC after being found guilty on a charge of manslaughter by a jury at the Old Bailey.

The morning of the killing, the youth, who cannot be named, pleaded guilty to possession of a knife at Southside shopping centre in Wandsworth, back in August 2021, and was given a youth rehabilitation order.

When fatally injured, Mr Wali grabbed the defendant's jacket and asked: "Why did you stab me?"

Players in a rugby match between Richmond School and Hampton School then watched as the injured teenager picked up a branch before he collapsed.

In court, the youth admitted wielding a knife within hours of leaving court, but denied he intended to cause aspiring cricketer, Mr Wali, serious harm.

Victim had been 'hoping for a safer life'

Mr Wali's older brother, Mohamed Ashuk, said in a victim impact statement that his sibling came to London from Afghanistan at the age of 13, "hoping for a safer life", the court heard.

"This was no accident but it was a deliberate and violent attack which has left me and my family in a state of devastation," Mr Ashuk said.

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He added that his own children are now afraid to leave the house for fear of being stabbed.

When Mr Wali's twin brother arrived in the UK, hoping to be reunited with his sibling, he was "traumatised" by the news of his death.

Mr Wali was sitting in the park with a female friend, on 12 October 2021 when they were approached by the defendant and five other teenagers.

Following an exchange of comments, the defendant pushed Mr Wali with his chest and then produced a 20cm long black knife with zigzag indentations.

He stabbed Mr Wali on his right side.

Killer teen 'felt unsafe' on the streets

Giving evidence in court, the youth said he grew "scared" after Mr Wali called his male friend for "backup", adding: "I thought he had something on him, a knife."

He said he sometimes "felt unsafe" walking on the streets and would carry a knife for "protection" after incidents in which he, a cousin and a friend were attacked.

On Boxing Day in 2021, the teenager pleaded guilty to an affray on another inmate while on remand at Feltham Young Offender Institution. He was sentenced to a four-month detention and training order.

Garry Green, defending, said his client suffered trauma from witnessing domestic violence when he was younger and has been subject to social services since he was two years old.