Abdul Samad: Maida Vale teens convicted of murder as family say charity worker’s death ‘broke’ them
- Credit: Archant
Two moped crooks from Maida Vale who fatally stabbed charity worker Abdul Samad in a four-hour spree of violence have been found guilty of murder.
Nathan Gilmaney, 18, of Maida Vale, and Troy Thomas, 18, of Shirland Road, were today convicted at the Old Bailey of murdering 28-year-old Abdul Samad for his iPhone late on October 16.
The court heard the pair carried out nine knife-point robberies, stabbed four people and killed Abdul after setting off on their spree at 10.30pm.
They stabbed their first victim in Shirland Road after he had run off when they demanded his possessions.
An hour later they attacked a man who was with his elderly aunt in St Mary’s Terrace, Paddington. They again threatened them at knife-point, stealing jewellery and money.
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Despite taking everything they could, Gilmaney stabbed the man in the stomach.
Moments later they confronted Abdul in St Mary’s Terrace, Paddington. He handed over his phone and they drove off, only to do a U-turn in the street and return when they realised they needed the PIN.
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Abdul gave them the code and also handed over his wallet. CCTV footage showed him doing exactly as they asked, offering no resistance, but Gilmaney then lunged towards him, stabbing him through the heart. He then shouted “let’s go”, climbed back onto the moped, and it sped off.
Abdul staggered the short distance to his home and collapsed on the doorstep. His parents heard his cries and came outside to find him.
Despite the best efforts of medics he died later in hospital.
The teenagers carried on their spree.
A few minutes after attacking Abdul they tried to rob a man in Golborne Road but he escaped. They then targeted another man also in Golborne Road, driving the moped along the pavement towards him. The victim threw his bag and then his phone at them and ran away.
They returned to Maida Vale shortly after 1am where they sold Abdul’s iPhone at a block of flats off Harrow Road.
They were seen on CCTV leaving the flats getting ready for their next attack - both pulling on balaclavas to hide their faces.
A 1.30am they tried to rob a man in Porchester Road. He refused to hand over his phone and Gilmaney stabbed him in the stomach.
Minutes later in Princess Square, they followed a man talking on his phone before Gilmaney stabbed him in the arm without warning.
They moved on to Pembridge Road and, at the junction with Portobello Road, snatched a phone out of a woman’s hand.
Just after 2am they approached a 16-year-old girl and her friend in Cricklewood Lane, threatening them with the knives. She handed over her bag but it didn’t stop Gilmaney punching her in the face.
They attacked their final victim in Golders Green Road, demanding his wallet and phone at knifepoint. The man handed over his wallet but Gilmaney still stabbed him in the stomach anyway.
The pair were caught after a high-speed chase in which Gilmaney took off his helmet believing it would stop cops from following.
In a statement read out in court Abdul’s mother Layla Begum said: “The death of my son has absolutely broken my husband, my eldest son, my entire family and me.
“Since his death there has not been a single moment that goes by for me without shedding tears.
“I would do anything to get him back. Sometimes when I am at home I think he will walk in again and that this has all been a bad dream. However, as each minute, each hour and each day goes by I then realise Abdul is not going to come back home. Abdul has been taken from us forever.
“I will never be able to get over losing a son. I often feel like a dead woman walking around my home.”
His girlfriend Sultana Ahmed said: “I had known Abdul for 11 years and he had the most amazing personality. He was caring, kind, loving and everyone adored him. I had seen Abdul grow into a beautiful human being who always wanted to help people in whatever capacity he could.
“We had many plans for this year and the last thing Abdul said to me was, ‘watch, this year will be our year and we will be a family’. He also said, ‘I will give my mum and dad the perfect gift in the new year - which is you as a daughter-in-law’.
“Had we both known that this would be our last conversation ever and that he would not call me back as he had promised that night we would have had a longer conversation.
“I felt like I died with Abdul that day. He took a part of me that will never come back.
“Abdul lived for his job of helping children; he was the change we needed to see in the world. “Every time I close my eyes I remember his laughter, his infectious smile and I cry because I remember the day I went to the mortuary to see him and how my world shattered.”
Gilmaney had previously pleaded guilty to manslaughter, three counts of attempted robbery, six counts of robbery, four counts of wounding with intent and one count of theft.
Thomas admitted theft, three counts of attempted robbery and six counts of robbery. He had denied four counts of wounding with intent but was also found guilty by the jury of those GBH offences.
Investigating officer Det Insp Shaun Fitzgerald said: “The prosecution said Gilmaney and his friend Thomas were ‘the highwaymen of the 21st century’ and there couldn’t be a more apt description.
“The teenagers believed they had the right to threaten and rob wherever they wanted, often stabbing their victims for no reason at all but to prove they could.”
They will be sentenced on June 15.