'Paranoid' man addicted to legal stimulant khat is jailed for 26 years for murdering former friend by using two knives to 'partially decapitate' him

Ayanle Adan plunged a knife into each side of Hanad Osman's neck, then used a 'double slashing motion' to partially cut off his head

A man addicted to the herbal stimulant khat has been jailed for 26 years for murdering his former friend by ‘partially decapitating’ him.

On August 21 last year, Ayanle Adan purchased two knives from Sainsbury’s and launched a surprise attack on his ex-friend Hanad Osman outside the Waaberi Business Centre in Streatham, South London.

Mr Osman, who was looking at his phone when the attack began, suffered an eight inch gash as the 26-year-old plunged the knives into each side of his neck. Adan then used a “double slashing motion” with a knife in each hand to cause partial decapitation. The 24-year-old subsequently bled to death in front of customers at the convenience store.

Adan, who has 18 previous convictions for 26 offences - including assault and vehicle theft – was found guilty of murdering Mr Osman but argued that he had only intended to “scare” him after being threatened with a knife.

Judge Brian Barker QC said: “The real background of this killing may never emerge. For reasons beyond the understanding of the court you initiated a surprise attack when you were in no danger.”

He added: “This was a planned killing. It was done in front of others and was totally unacceptable. It was a waste of a young life and no doubt his family have been severely affected by his death.”

Judge Barker went on to say: “On any view you have been leading a life of crime. This behaviour in public displays a complete disregard of human life and outrages and horrifies the community who have come to hear about it.”

Adan admitted to being addicted to the herbal stimulant khat and to regularly chewing the legal drug with other young men at the Waaberi Business Centre. He reportedly claimed that a combination of the drug and a hangover had left him feeling paranoid on the day of the murder.

Adan claimed that, after Mr Osman threatened to stab him, he had decided to “show him” that he was equally capable of swinging a knife around, but chose to do so with two knives. He went on to claim that he had simply misjudged the knife swings and had not intended to injure M Osman in any way.

Adan, of no fixed address, will now serve a minimum of 26 years for the murder.

What is khat?

Khat is a shrub grown in East Africa and Yemen that gives users a mild amphetamine-like high when chewed for long periods. Users are said to feel chatty and euphoric while taking the drug, but studies suggest that long-term use can cause psychosis and lead to violent behaviour.

Many European countries, including the famously liberal Netherlands, have banned khat but it remains legal in Britain. Khat can be purchased in numerous outlets throughout the UK, but it is particularly relevant among East African communities in London.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral