RAJA ALI, 33, of Elm Park, was viciously attacked on 25th September last year. He was stabbed 13 times and attacked with a number of weapons – including a hammer, metal poles, baseball bats and at least one knife. He died from his wounds.
The incident occurred on 25th September last year. Mr Ali drove to Stansgate Road, Dagenham, with two friends. His vehicle was then rammed from behind by another vehicle while a third vehicle pulled in front of it, blocking his escape. Six men then got out of the two vehicles and began attacking Mr Ali and his friends, who all escaped from their car. Two of the attackers chased one friend to Braintree Road and the other friend managed to run to Stansgate Road, where he was able to hide. Mr Ali was chased by three of the attackers to Braintree Road, where he was stabbed 13 times.
Police were able to obtain CCTV footage of the attackers arriving and the beginning of the attack, as well as telephone records. They were able to establish that one of the attackers, Paul Welch, had gone to Stansgate Road to meet a friend and had asked Mr Ali – a dealer from whom Welch used to buy drugs – to meet him there. After the attack, Welch told the friend he had gone to meet that Mr Ali had been killed on the orders of another rug dealer.
The suspects were convicted at the Old Bailey on 30th July. Forensic evidence obtained from the cars and weapons used in the attack was also given in court.
•Abubaker Omar-Bana, 26, of Rochford Close, East Ham and Jordon Archambie, 20, of Hesketh Road, Forest Gate had both pleaded guilty to charges of violent disorder but were both found guilty of manslaughter. Omar-Bana was sentenced to 15 years in prison for manslaughter and three years for violent disorder. Archambie was sentenced to twelve years in prison and three years for violent disorder. In each case, the sentences will run concurrently.
•Zakar Yunas, 22, of Rokeby Street, Stratford; Mussa Jalo, 21, of Norfolk Road, Dagenham and Daniel Paul Welch, 34, of Winstead Gardens, Dagenham were found not guilty of murder or manslaughter. Yunas and Welch were found guilty of violent disorder and Jalo pleaded guilty to violent disorder. Yunas was sentenced to four years in prison and Welch and Jalo each received sentences of three years.
The Court heard an impact statement given by Mr Ali’s cousin on behalf of his family. He said that Mr Ali had been close to his family, who would all miss him – particularly his six year old daughter. Mr Ali’s fiancée also told the Court that she had been very shocked by the death.
Detective Chief Inspector Dave Whellams, of the Metropolitan Police Homicide and Major Crime Command, said, “This was a pre-planned and orchestrated attack. We believe Raja may have gone to meet these men as part of a drugs deal. However, unbeknownst to him, the meeting was actually a set-up, resulting in him losing his life. Raja was set upon by this group who launched a vicious attack with a variety of weapons which resulted in his death. Regardless of what Raja’s intentions were that night, when he arranged to meet these men he should not have lost his life. I hope Raja’s grieving family are able to move forward knowing his attackers have now been brought to justice.”
Four other men were arrested on suspicion of murder and later released with no further action being taken against them. Worryingly, the police believe that there were other men involved in the attack and are investigating further in the hope of identifying them.