Axe-murderer convicted of hacking co-worker to death, hiding body and painting over evidence

Jury rejects 'feeble lies' from defendant who claimed victim was trying to blackmail and rape him

Imran Muhammed, 31, was convicted of murder at the Old Bailey
Imran Muhammed, 31, was convicted of murder at the Old Bailey

An axe-murderer hacked a colleague to death at the shop where they worked, before dumping his body in a graveyard and painting over blood on the walls, a court heard.

Imran Muhammed, who was staying in the country illegally, has been convicted of murdering married father-of-seven Seyed Khan, who suspected him of stealing money.

Mr Khan was taken by surprise and suffered at least 12 blows to the head when he arrived at A-Z Furniture and Carpets in Ilford, east London, on 24 January, London's Old Bailey was told.

Muhammed, 31, then wheeled the 49-year-old’s body in a shopping trolley from a nearby supermarket and dumped it in undergrowth at Ilford cemetery.

He went on to clean up the blood and “coolly and deliberately” call police to report he had been robbed and slashed with glass on the arm to “spin a false story”.

Mr Khan’s body was found eight days later after a search with a specially trained police dog, and the defendant was arrested after fleeing to Glasgow, the court heard.

Prosecutor Tim Cray said the defendant did not dispute the killing or that he tried to cover his tracks, but claimed loss of control following a sexual advance.

He said: “The defendant claims that Seyed was trying to blackmail and rape him and that as a result, he snapped, lost his self control and killed Seyed.”

But the prosecution asserted that the defendant had lied and it was a “planned and deliberate murder”.

In the weeks before the killing, the victim told his wife that an employee had been stealing money but begged him to take pity.

Muhammed, of Ilford, had previous convictions for dishonesty. As an over-stayer in the country, he feared he would be sent back to Pakistan, the court heard.

Jurors were told that four days before the attack, Muhammed searched the internet for “how to kill a man with a hammer”, with a punch, and “brain injuries”.

The defendant, from Ilford denied murder, maintaining he was being sexually attacked.

A jury rejected his explanation and convicted him by a majority of 11 to one after 13 hours and 25 minutes.

He was remanded in custody to be sentenced on Friday.

Mr Khan’s eldest son Khalil Khan said: “My dad was a kind, loving and caring man who would always put others before himself. His death has had a huge impact on our lives, which have now changed forever. We had such a happy, caring and joyful family. This has now been destroyed forever by an awful, heartless act that none of us deserved.

“We have been left with a void in our lives that can never be filled. We all miss him so much.”

Detective Inspector Domenica Catino, of Scotland Yard, said: “I am pleased that the jury has seen straight through Imran Muhammed’s feeble lies as he attempted to deflect the blame from himself and have found him guilty of this horrific murder.

“Seyed was a hard-working family man who strived to provide for his wife and children. In the cruellest of circumstances he has been taken away from his family by the selfish actions of a cowardly man.”

Additional reporting by Press Association

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