Three convicted of riot murder

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The Independent Online

Three Asian men were found guilty today of murdering a black IT worker during a riot last year.

Waqar Ahmed, 26, Azhil Khan, 23, and Afzal Khan, 22, from the Handsworth area of Birmingham, were convicted at Birmingham Crown Court of stabbing Isaiah Young-Sam through the heart during disturbances in the Lozells district of the city on October 22.

Mr Young-Sam, 23, was stabbed as he walked through Lozells with his brother and two friends.

Two or three cars pulled up in front of them and a group of men clad in hoodies and bandanas got out and chased them.

Mr Young-Sam was last in the group and was attacked.

The three defendants had denied murder.

But the jury, which retired to consider its verdicts last on Thursday, had heard how the men went to Huddersfield just hours after the attack, before returning to Birmingham the next day and booking one-way tickets to Pakistan.

They were stopped en-route in Dubai and returned to Britain where they were arrested.

The disturbances in Lozells were sparked by unfounded rumours that a West Indian girl had been raped by a gang of Asian men.









Mr Young-Sam was described by his family as a kind and respectful young man.

His sister Kavina Young-Sam, 22, said she could not understand what motivated people to take the life of an innocent person.

She said: "Isaiah was such a kind, fun-loving, humble, respectful and dignified young man who always gave off a pleasant vibe."

Her mother Murna McLean described her son's killers as "animals".

The defendants were also convicted of attacking Mr Young-Sam's friend, Locksley Byfield, who was stabbed in his backside during the incident.







There was sobbing and cries of "they're innocent" from the packed public gallery as the jury returned its unanimous verdict following 12 hours deliberations.

Mr Justice Mackay warned members of the defendants' families they would be asked to leave the courtroom if they continued to call out.

The High Court judge said there was only one sentence he could impose on the trio and that was a life sentence.

He deferred sentencing until 2pm this afternoon to consider possible minimum terms.