"Alimuz Zaman was fatally injured and collapsed"
Two men have been convicted of murder after they attacked their former friend in the street with a wrench and a machete with “merciless ferocity”.
Mofizur Rahman and Alimul Islam killed Alimuz Zaman in front of a crowd outside a shop on St Paul’s Way in Mile End, east London, on May 26, 2019.
Rahman and Islam were seen arguing with the victim the night before and exchanged a series of phone calls with him in the weeks leading up to the killing.
It is alleged that the violence stemmed from an argument with Mr Zaman, likely to involve drug dealing.
Prior to the attack, CCTV captured Islam walking into the newsagents as staff shouted:
“Alimul, don’t take anything.”
The Old Bailey heard that Islam grabbed an adjustable wrench and walked about outside.
Mr Zaman entered the same shop to pick up some scissors to defend herself, before trying to enter the back room to avoid the confrontation.
But a crowd watched Mr Zaman being chased around the street as the pair struck him repeatedly with their weapons before running away.
Rahman was seen swinging a 10-inch machete at Mr Zaman.
At one point, the victim was heard saying: “Why are you hitting me? Isn’t that enough?”
Oliver Glasgow QC, prosecuting, said: “Alimuz Zaman was fatally injured and collapsed in a pool of his own blood, and left another Mahbuby Kabani clutching his injured arm.
“It is violence that results in these two young men facing allegations of murder.
“Any effort by them to blame the deceased simply ignores the severe nature of the attack to which they subjected him.
“They had been in contact with each other on a relatively frequent basis up to the incident.
“Mobile phone footage taken by members of the public recorded the incident that afternoon.
“What it captures established beyond any reasonable doubt that they were armed and intended to cause harm to anyone in their way.”
As he lay injured in the street, Mr Zaman was able to tell his brother the names of his attackers.
Later that day, he died in hospital.
Mr Zaman’s unarmed friend, Mahbuby Rabani, tried to intervene and suffered a severe arm injury before the defendants fled.
A post-mortem examination identified 15 sharp force injuries, with two fatal wounds – a chop-like gash to the arm and a deep stab to the thigh.
Mr Glasgow added: “The violence used against him [Mr Zaman] was gratuitous, unnecessary, and totally inexcusable.
“They attacked the deceased who was helpless, defenceless, on his back in the middle of the road.
“When he tried to escape, they hit him over and over again.
“Even when they were surrounded by lots of concerned friends and acquaintances, they still continued to attack the deceased.
“He didn’t have a weapon in his hands, he didn’t try to land a single blow at all.
“Any suggestion that the violence is justifiable, or that it might have some legal excuse is wrong.”
Rahman and Islam said they acted in self-defence, claiming that they had been working for the victim as dealers and had a falling out.
The men were found guilty of murder and wounding with intent.
The pair also denied possession of an offensive weapon, but the jury were discharged from finding a verdict in respect of those counts.
Neither of the weapons carried by the defendants was recovered.
Judge Anthony Leonard, QC, said: “I am not going to push on with sentencing this afternoon.
“As you know the only sentence I can pass is one of life imprisonment. But I have to consider what the minimum term is.”
The men are due to be sentenced on February 21, 2022.