Bow Lock murder defendants blame each other for fatal attack

Mohammed Aqil Mahdi, 22, who died on November 6

Mohammed Aqil Mahdi, 22, who died on November 6 - Credit: Met Police

One of the three men accused of murdering their friend in Bow Lock has broken down in the witness box at the Old Bailey, as he apologised to the victim's family for not calling an ambulance after the fatal stabbing.

The body of Mohammed Aqil Mahdi - a 22-year-old from Camden better known as Aqil - was found by a dog walker in a secluded enclosure behind Springer Court, Navigation Road on the morning of November 6, 2021.

Abul Kashem, 29, of Victoria Dock Road is on trial for the murder alongside Majed Ahmed, 19, of Navigation Road in Bromley-by-Bow and Muzahid Ali, 22, of Bishops Way in Cambridge Heath.

Navigation Road by the canal at Bromley-by-Bow

Navigation Road by the canal at Bromley-by-Bow - Credit: Google

Aqil had been been "savagely attacked" and stabbed multiple times in his shoulder and buttocks, and was pronounced dead at the scene. 

While both Kashem and Ali accuse Ahmed of inflicting the fatal stab wounds, Ahmed blames Ali.

Giving evidence at the Old Bailey yesterday - Tuesday, June 28 - Kashem claimed Ahmed had produced a knife as the four friends were smoking weed by the riverside at about midnight on November 5, following a trip to Southend.

"I could see by his eyes he was angry. I turned around to speak to Aqil to ask what the hell was going on and that's when Muzahid (Ali) came and punched Aqil in the face," he said.

"As soon as he punched him, he grabbed his chest and pushed him against the wall and that's when Majed (Ahmed) got more involved.

"It happened so quickly. I was screaming to stop the fight and they weren't listening, and then I decided to make my way to the car and they followed me."

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Kashem told jurors he told Ahmed, who was asking for a lift: "If you don't call the ambulance I'm going to tell the police what you guys done."

"Given what you have just seen why did you not yourself call for an ambulance and the police," asked his own barrister, Charles Sherrard.

"I should have. I should have called. I am ashamed of myself. I didn't. I am sorry to Aqil and his family," he said, breaking down in tears. 

"I did really think it was really serious but I was really upset from what I saw. I was still in shock. I never saw such a violence in my life."

Kashem in turn has been accused by Ahmed of stopping Ahmed from helping Aqil while Ali was stabbing him, and telling him: "Let them do what they have to do - don't get involved."

Ahmed claims a dispute erupted between Ali and Aqil as they drove back from Southend together, where it is claimed by the prosecution the group went to pick up drugs. 

According to Ahmed, Ali allegedly told Aqil: "If you don't pay me you know what's going to happen," in relation to a Kenzo bag allegedly containing drug money, that Aqil had lost in a taxi.

Ali in turn blames Ahmed for the stabbing.

According to his barrister, Michael Bromley-Martin, there was a matter which Ahmed "wished to punish Aqil for".

This, he said, "may have been to do with dishonouring Aqil's girlfriend, by having an affair with another woman who he made pregnant".

Giving evidence last week, Ali who was employed as a Deliveroo driver until he was arrested, told jurors he had to call 999 in March 2021, when Majed and Aqil - who he claimed dealt drugs together - tried to break into his sister's house over an unpaid debt.

On the night Aqil was killed, Ali said he stepped in when the argument between Aqil and Ahmed "was getting heated".

However, he said that as he separated Aqil from Ahmed, "Ahmed decided to push himself away to get to Aqil again".

Ali said that when he left the scene with Ahmed and Kashem, he "didn't know if Aqil had been stabbed, and that he hadn't given the appearance of being hurt". 

"I didn't hear no noise from him," he added.

The trial continues.