Zahir Visiter killing: Man escapes murder charge but convicted of manslaughter

Kamal Hussain. Guilty of Zahir Visiter's manslaughter. Picture: Met Police

Kamal Hussain. Guilty of Zahir Visiter's manslaughter. Picture: Met Police - Credit: Archant

A 22-year-old who sparked a police raid on Regent’s Park mosque has been convicted of the manslaughter of Chechen music producer Zahir Visiter at the Old Bailey today.

Zahir Visiter. Picture: Met Police

Zahir Visiter. Picture: Met Police - Credit: Archant

Kamal Hussain, 22, of Sutherland Avenue, Maida Vale, was acquitted of murder but found guilty of the lesser charge.

His co-defendant, Yosef Ahmed, 18. was cleared of both charges.

During the trial, the court heard, that on the evening of March 28 this year at about 6pm Mr Visiter had told his girlfriend he was going out for about 5 to 10 minutes.

Ten minutes later she got a phone call from a friend to say he had been stabbed outside in the street. The court heard that the four stab wounds, two to the chest, one to the arm and one in Mr Visiter's back had been inflicted with "substantial force", and he was pronounced dead in hospital an hour later.

Hussain had admitted stabbing Mr Visiter. In the dock, he said: "I didn't want to say anything. I was scared. I would get arrested for murder. All I can think is they think I murdered him. I did kill him but I didn't intend to kill him."

Mr Visiter was fatally wounded in Cunningham Place in St John's Wood. After the incident, Hussain and Ahmed fled into Regent's Park Mosque, the court heard.

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A post-mortem examination confirmed that two stab wounds to the victim's chest were the fatal injuries, both entered the right lung and one had pierced the aorta.

As a result of intelligence given to police, Hussain's details were circulated and plain clothes officers on patrol spotted someone matching his description crossing the canal near the Lisson Green Estate - he then fled from officers, and ran to Regent's Park Mosque where he changed clothes. A pair of trousers left behind at the mosque were found with his DNA on them.

Hussain said he had not been aware that Visiter had died until later in the evening.

He said that Ahmed had been stood behind him when the fight broke out between him and Zahir, and was not responsible for Zahir's death. The defendants linked up again a day later, the jury heard, because Hussain thought it was "best to keep together".

Hussain was arrested shortly after midnight on April 3.

Det Sgt Gary Royal, said: "What exactly led to this brutal stabbing may never be known for sure. It appears that money that Zahir had with him was missing, but whether his death was motivated by robbery or some other cause may never be known.

"I would like to thank all those who came to Zahir's aid and all those who cooperated with the investigation."

The jury took almost four days to come to their decision - the judge had instructed them he was willing to accept a majority verdict.

Hussain will now be sentenced at the same court on Friday, 15 November