Mohamed Aadam Mohamed murder: Erick Ekam faces at least 17 years in jail for 'pointless and savage' attack
PUBLISHED: 13:56 21 December 2018 | UPDATED: 16:53 21 December 2018
Kentish Town teenager Erick Ekam has today been jailed for a minimum of 17 years today for the brutal murder of Mohamed Aadam Mohamed, 20, last September.
Ekam, 19, was found guilty of stabbing Mr Mohamed to death in Hampstead Road near Mornington Crescent, along with two charges of carrying a knife in a public place.
The judge at the Old Bailey justified the severity of the sentence – which is comparatively high for a crime committed by a minor, as Ekam was then – by saying the courts must play a role in deterring the knife crime that he said was now “common” in London.
As sentencing took place, an image of the bloodied weapon used in the attack was released, with the agreement of Mr Mohamed’s family.
The family hope the image of the knife, missing the tip which the court heard snapped during the “brutal” attack, will deter others from committing knife crime.
Passing sentence, Judge Michael Grieve QC told Ekam: “Clearly, Mohamed had great potential and his whole life before him, all of which has been pointlessly and savagely snuffed out by you.”
The judge also said he did not believe the testimony of defence witness Rashaun Akers-Gaspard that Mr Mohamed had shot him days before the murder.
He added: “It is clear to me that this witness came to court to lie for you. He at least was steeped in a culture that glorified knife crime.”
The jury had been shown a YouTube video with lyrics referring to Mohamed having been “got in broad daylight”.
The judge added that the force with which Ekam attacked had been likened to a “punch from a professional boxer” by a pathologist, rejected the defence’s argument that Ekam had not tried to kill Mr Mohamed, and said he must consider the role of the courts in society.
He said: “Crimes such as yours are only too common in this city, and the courts must do what they can do discourage them.”
Mr Mohamed’s family, who also live in Kentish Town, have now suffered three killings in the last four years.
His younger brother Sadiq was killed on February 9 this year, while cousin Mohamed Abdullahi was fatally stabbed in June 2013.
In a victim impact statement read to the court by prosecutor Allison Hunter QC, Mr Mohamed’s mother said he had been “ripped from the hearts” of her family.
Fowsioa Abdi said: “He was a young man with great ambitions and life goals.
“He had invincible confidence and would often say: ‘Just wait till I’m older, and see what I achieve.’”
She said her eldest son had been left “heartbroken” by his cousin’s death. He even moved in with his aunt and uncle afterwards.
His mum added: “A compassionate person, Mohamed would always try to ensure that everyone was happy as best he could.
“Losing a loved one is painful enough; but to hear and see the way in which he was so swiftly taken away from us makes the pain indescribable.
“We honestly have no idea where we will begin to recover from this tragedy.”
In mitigation, defence barrister Bernard Richmond QC said Ekam had written a letter to the court expressing remorse.
He told the judge: “He recognises that what happened on that day has caused devastation to the family and he apologises to them. “He also says he knows that you will have to give him an appropriate sentence to do justice for the family.”
Ekam claimed he had wrestled the knife from Mr Mohamed, but the judge said the jury had clearly rejected his story.
Det Ch Insp Noel McHugh of the Met’s homicide squad said: “Ekam is a wicked, dangerous young man who went out with a knife, intent on inflicting harm.
“His mindless actions have robbed a family of a much loved son. They are a remarkable family who have lost two sons to knife crime in six months and a cousin five years ago.
“They have been so supportive and dignified.”
Ekam’s sentence will be reduced by the 473 days he has already spent on remand.