Minicab murder: Barking love rival guilty of Stratford killing

Mohammed Yasser Afzal

Mohammed Yasser Afzal - Credit: Archant

A Barking man has been found guilty of murdering a minicab controller in Stratford last year.

Gulam Chowdhury

Gulam Chowdhury - Credit: MPS

A jury at the Old Bailey found Gulam Chowdhury, 24, guilty of killing Mohammed Yasser Afzal on March 24, 2014.

His girlfriend, Nargis Riaz, 22, who was also accused of murder, will face a retrial after the jury failed to return a verdict.

Mr Afzal, who lived in Norwich Road, Forest Gate, died after being stabbed at the E20 Cars control office in Stratford Broadway.

During the four week trial, the court heard how Mr Afzal, 22, was killed by love rival Chowdhury after his secret girlfriend Riaz felt she could not break up with him in case he showed intimate photos of her to her family.

Giving evidence during the trial, Riaz, of Fanshawe Avenue, had said she and Chowdhury, of Heenan Close, only planned to take Mr Afzal’s phone on the night he was stabbed.

The court heard that on the night Mr Afzal was killed, Chowdhury arrived at the cab office at around 8pm with an eight inch knife, vaulted the counter and attacked him before fleeing the scene.

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He never regained consciousness and a post mortem examination revealed he had been stabbed 20 times.

Witnesses described how Chowdhury, who was wearing a distinctive JD Sports shoulder bag, had been seen lurking around Mr Afzal’s family cab office in the minutes before the stabbing.

He was placed at the scene following analysis of CCTV and phone records.

Det Insp Euan McKeeve called the attack a “ferocious assault”.

He said: “The level of violence used was shocking and ensured that Mohammed would not survive the attack.

“Whatever Mohammed’s motives were for the actions he took in attempting to maintain his relationship with a woman, he did not deserve to be murdered.”

A third defendant, Muhammed Khan, 23, of Lindsey Close, Dagenham, was found not guilty of assisting an offender in the case.

Chowdhury will be sentenced at the Old Bailey on May 1.