“They disregarded his body like a piece of rubbish."
A man was branded a “cowardly animal” as he was jailed for life for killing his former friend Mohammed Shah Subhani and dumping his partially burnt body in a shallow grave.
Amraj Poonia had ambushed Mr Subhani at R&J Plumbing in Hounslow, West London, on May 7, 2019.
After entering the premises, Mr Subhani was killed.
His body was then rolled up in a carpet to be transported to woodland in Buckinghamshire where it was burnt and buried.
Later that day, Poonia “unashamedly” went to the Subhani family home and acted as if nothing had happened.
The case was initially treated as a missing persons inquiry before a murder investigation was launched and possible suspects identified.
The breakthrough came around six months later when an individual walked into a police station, admitted to taking part in the disposal of Mr Subhani’s body and named his killer.
Acting on the information, police discovered Mr Subhani’s body in woodland in Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire.
The Old Bailey heard that Mohammed Shah Subhani was killed after a falling out over a kilogram of cannabis that went missing after it was given to Poonia for safekeeping.
Associate Mohanad Riad recruited two local drug dealers to help stage a fake theft.
But suspicions led to violent incidents in the weeks before the killing.
After a trial, Poonia was found guilty of murder and perverting the course of justice. He was jailed for life with a minimum term of 25 years.
His brother Raneel Poonia was jailed for seven years for perverting the course of justice.
Riad and Mahamud Ismail were also convicted of perverting the course of justice and were jailed for two years and five-and-a-half years respectively.
In victim impact statements, Mr Subhani’s family labelled the killers “cowardly animals”.
His sister Iqra Subhani said her brother had been robbed of his life “in the most cowardly and heinous way by his so-called friends”.
Addressing the dock, she said:
“Even after you brutally killed him, you did not spare him – you continued to torment him after he was dead.”
“My brother had the spirit of a lion. But a lion can only do so much when he is ambushed by hyenas and that is what you cowardly animals did.”
Father Gul Subhani described his son’s murder as “pure evil”, saying:
“They disregarded his body like a piece of rubbish. He did not go there to fight. He was a lover not a fighter.”
Stating that the thought of his son’s body being rolled into a carpet and set alight “makes our skin crawl”, he added:
“This is an unending pain for all of us, a pain we will take to our grave.
“How can we have closure when we could not even have 100% of our boy back?”
Mr Subhani’s partner Thelma, who was pregnant with their child at the time of his death, said:
“He was my best friend and confidante all in one.”
Following the convictions, Detective Chief Inspector Vicky Tunstall said:
“Amraj Poonia is a dangerous individual and I have no doubt that the streets of west London are far safer now he, and his accomplices, have been convicted.
“I hope that this outcome and the diligent investigation that led to their conviction improves the trust that communities can have in the Metropolitan Police.”