Curry war may have led to killing

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The Independent Online
Detectives believe that a fast- food delivery man who was stabbed to death outside the home of the Solicitor-General may have been killed as part of a "curry war" between rival restaurants.

Abdul Samad, 26, died from multiple stab wounds, after being lured to a street in north London on Wednesday night by a bogus order for a curry. Shortly after Mr Samad arrived with the food he was set upon by two or three masked men and attacked with a knife or cleaver and beaten with a blunt object.

In what appears to be a bizarre co-incidence the killers used the home of the Solicitor-General, Lord Falconer, a lifelong friend of Tony Blair, as the false address for the delivery.

Police are investigating previous attacks on fast-food outlets in the area to discover whether a feud is behind the murder. So far they have found details of one or two incidents, including one involving a pizza restaurant, but believe others may not have been reported. They intend to interview the owners and staff of food outlets in the area.

There is evidence to support the suggestion that some kind of feud was involved.

The bogus food order to the Curry In A Hurry takeaway in St Paul's Road, Islington, was made from a public telephone box close to the home of Lord Falconer in Islington. Mr Samad, from Bethnal Green, east London, who took the delivery by car, parked close to the Solicitor-General's home.

As he got out of his car he was chased by the men who attacked him with a knife or cleaver and a blunt object similar to a baseball bat. He was taken to hospital but died about three hours later.

Nothing was taken from Mr Samad and several valuable items were discovered on his body. The assailants were described as Asians in their 20s. A weapon has been recovered and two people were arrested in connection with the murder but both have been bailed.

Although Mr Samad is not the owner of Curry In A Hurry, police are examining suggestions that his Bangladeshi family owns part of the take away. There are no previous reports of attacks against staff of the food outlet.

Detective Superintendent Colin Hardingham, who is heading the murder hunt, said: "Part of the inquiry will be to look if there have been any similar incidents in the area. At the moment we know of one or two, but others may not have been reported to the police."

He added: "We are examining a number of possible motives at the moment. It could have been a robbery that went horribly wrong, or it may be something personal or something to do with the business."

On the question of why the killers chose Lord Falconer's home address Det Supt Hardingham said: "We have spoken to the Solicitor-General and he did not order the curry.

"We are confident it has nothing to do with his family. It's a bizarre coincidence. This attack was clearly planned.

Lord Falconer and his family were unaware of the incident until they were woken by police.

Mr Blair appointed Lord Falconer, a school friend, days after the election. The pounds 78,000-a-year post of Solicitor-General involves overseeing the Crown Prosecution Service.