'Wolfboy' jailed for killing child in park

A DISTURBED teenager, nicknamed 'Wolfboy', was convicted at the Old Bailey yesterday of the murder of a nine-year-old boy playing in a park. Judge Neil Denison ordered Tahir Malik, 17, of Slough, Berkshire, to be detained at Her Majesty's pleasure.

A year ago, Malik's victim, Akhlaq Ahmed, went to Salt Hill Park, Slough, from his home near by to watch cricket with his father, uncle and brother. He wandered away from the match to play on swings and was later seen by many witnesses playing in the park with Malik.

Akhlaq's naked and battered body was later discovered in a part of the park covered by dense undergrowth. He had been strangled.

Richard Latham, for the prosecution, said the motive for the killing was not sexual. Malik, nicknamed Wolfboy and Werewolf because of his hairy face and squat build, was well known in Slough for hanging around public places and approaching strangers of all ages, particularly children. After the unanimous verdict it was revealed he had a previous conviction for attacking a boy after being taunts about his appearance.

Mr Latham described Malik as 'a rather lonely and disordered young man. He is backward, he has a low IQ and he has a degree of mental handicap although not a severe degree.'

During the two-week trial, Mr Latham described the murder as motiveless and said that although no one saw it, there was 'overwhelming circumstantial evidence' that Malik was the killer.