'I pity them': Mother slams 'baby boy's' killers as they are jailed for life

Majed Ahmed, 19, of Navigation Road, in Bromley-by-Bow has been found guilty of murder

Majed Ahmed, 19, of Navigation Road in Bromley-by-Bow has been jailed for at least 23 years - Credit: Met Police

The mother of a man who was savagely stabbed to death by two of his "friends" says she has "nothing but pity" for his murderers and their families, as they were sentenced to life behind bars.

Muzahid Ali, 22, of Bishops Way, in Cambridge Heath, has been found guilty of murder 

Muzahid Ali, 22, of Bishops Way in Cambridge Heath, has been jailed for at least 25 years - Credit: Met Police

Mohammed Aqil Mahdi - a 22-year-old from Camden better known as Aqil - was stabbed eight times in his shoulder, abdomen and buttocks in Bow Lock on November 6, 2021.

His body was found six hours later at 8am by a dog walker in a secluded enclosure behind Springer Court, Navigation Road.

Majed Ahmed, 19, of Navigation Road in Bromley-by-Bow and Muzahid Ali, 22, of Bishops Way in Cambridge Heath were both found guilty of his murder on July 7 following a month-long trial.

Ahmed and Ali, who blamed each other for the fatal attack as they gave evidence at the Old Bailey, returned to the same court for sentencing today (Thursday, July 14).

Both were given life sentences; Ahmed a minimum term of 23 years, Ali a longer minimum term of 25 years.

Reading a statement in court this morning, Aqil's mother described how growing up without a father saw her son assume that role with his 10-year-old sister, who he would tuck into bed at night after a game of hide-and-seek.

Mohammed Aqil Mahdi, 22, who died on November 6

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

"He knew he had to be there for his baby sister," she said. 

"Whenever he spoke about her to his friends or anyone he said his 'baby sister', and I'm sure the defendant Majed remembers this.

"She is in therapy because she is suffering the loss of her favourite role model. She is in pain every day after learning that her only brother has been brutally murdered."

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Aqil's mother told the court that he would have been studying accountancy and finance in his second year at university now.

"I was pleased he would be away from ambitionless friends of his. I had always wondered about these boys of east London forcing him out of the house to doss around, when he had his studies," she said.

"They cowardly murdered him in the dead of the night. Mercilessly they butchered my baby's body.

"I pity them. I pity their parents. I pity their future.

"I, mother of my lost son, Mohammed Aqil Mahdi, can keep my head up high, while you waste away in prison and your mothers, sisters, and daughter visit you in prison.

"The judgement and accountability these people will face is in the hereafter - finally the most fitting justice will be served. I will wait patiently for that day."

Aqil's older sister also read out a prepared statement in which she expressed her "disgust" at having to watch the footage of her "baby brother" being stabbed to death.

"My brother was butchered. He was abandoned, left to suffer alone while they returned to their families," she said.

"It hurts.

"Every day since the 6th November has been like a permanent heartburn and the tears just never run dry."

Another man whose 12-year-old son was taught Quran studies by Aqil also read out a statement: "He has suffered deeply. He used to always say, 'I can't wait for my lesson with Aqil because he is the best'. He used to see him as a brother."

Ahmed had a previous conviction for possession of a Rambo knife in 2019, and had received training on the dangers of carrying knives.

It was established during the proceedings that the convicted pair had both been drug dealers, and that Ali had tried to flee to France following the murder.

When that failed, he tried to escape to Bangladesh.

Judge Anthony Leonard QC said he was sure the pair decided to attack Aqil because of "what happened in respect of drug dealing".

Jurors heard that Aqil was trying to track down a Kenzo bag he had lost the day before his murder.

Judge Leonard said: "The footage - even from a camera over 100m away - shows you both attacked Aqil Mahdi together.

"When you left the area neither of you showed the slightest emotion about what you had done or sought to seek any medical attention for him."

A third defendant was acquitted of murder.