Minicab murder: ‘I stabbed him with my right hand for a whole minute’

Mohammed Yasser Afzal

Mohammed Yasser Afzal - Credit: Archant

The man accused of murdering a minicab controller admitted in a typed letter found in his pocket that he killed him “because of his own crazy feelings”, a court heard today.

Gulam Chowdhury, 24, of Heenan Close, Barking, said in a letter bearing his own name that he did not intend to kill Mohammed Yasser Afzal but that he was responsible for his death, jurors at the Old Bailey were told.

In the statement, read out by prosecutor Sandip Patel QC, he allegedly wrote: “During the attack I stabbed him too many times with a large kitchen knife in the heat of the moment and this led to his death.”

The 24-year-old and his partner Nargis Riaz, 22, of Fanshawe Avenue, Barking, stand accused of murdering Mr Afzal, known as Yasser, at E20 cars control office on Stratford Broadway on March 24 last year.

The court heard how Chowdhury said his intention was “only to cause injury” and take Mr Afzal’s mobile phone – which allegedly contained compromising material of Riaz that he claimed was being used to blackmail her.

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It emerged in court that Mr Afzal and law student Riaz had been lovers at the time.

Reading the letter to the court, Mr Patel said Chowdhury wrote: “I was not asked, told or incited into doing what I did. It was of my own will. I accept full responsibility and I did what I did due to my own crazy feelings.”

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Jurors heard how in the letter, Chowdhury recalled the day of Mr Afzal’s death.

“Unexpectedly the person Yasser was blackmailing turned up at the cab office, this enraged me.

“I could see an argument taking place – I went across the road with my face covered and checked out the scene. Then I saw Yasser pushing the person into the back office, which triggered me instantly.

“I lunged over the counter and stabbed him in the left shoulder. He ran to the toilet at the back of the office. All I was focused on was him, nothing else in the world mattered to me at that point.

“I stabbed him with my right hand for a whole minute. Suddenly I realised the situation had escalated into something I hadn’t planned. I knew I’d done something horrific.”

After the incident, prosecutors said the letter outlines how Chowdhury returned to Barking where he burned the clothes he was wearing, washed the knife and threw it down a drain.

Chowdhury and Riaz both deny murder.

Muhammed Khan, 23, of Lindsey Close, Dagenham, is also charged with assisting an offender in the case.

The trial continues.

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