Boy, 17, is found guilty of stabbing to death Afghan refugee in a park just hours after he appeared in court for carrying a knife at a shopping centre

  • Hazrat Wali, 18, died in hospital after suffering a 10cm deep wound in October ’21
  • He was stabbed in Craneford Way Playing Fields, Twickenham, south London

A 17-year-old has been found guilty of manslaughter after stabbing an Afghan refugee to death in a Twickenham park hours after being sentenced for carrying a knife.

Hazrat Wali, 18, died in hospital after suffering a 10cm deep wound in Craneford Way Playing Fields, south-west London, on the afternoon of October 12, 2021.

Players in a rugby match between two schools watched as the injured teenager picked up a branch before he collapsed.

A 17-year-old youth admitted wielding a knife within hours of leaving a magistrates’ court but denied he intended to cause student and aspiring cricketer Mr Wali really serious harm.

Hazrat Wali, a student at Richmond upon Thames College, collapsed on the busy playing field close to his college on October 12, 2021

A jury at the Old Bailey deliberated for more than eight hours to clear the youth of murder but find him guilty of the lesser alternative charge of manslaughter by a majority of 10 to two.

The defendant was remanded into youth detention to be sentenced on March 10.

Jurors were told the defendant, who was enrolled on a college course, was caught with a black knife at Southside shopping centre in Wandsworth two months before the killing on August 5, 2021.

He pleaded guilty to that offence and was given a youth rehabilitation order at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court on the morning of October 12.

Later that afternoon, Mr Wali was sitting in the park with a female friend, when they were approached by the defendant and five other teenagers.

Prosecutor Jacob Hallam KC had said that one of the girls in the group made a comment that the pair ‘looked nice together’.

A 17-year-old boy has been found guilty of stabbing Afghan refugee Hazrat Wali, 18, (pictured) to death

The defendant, then aged 16, began swearing at Mr Wali, who got to his feet and approached him.

The defendant pushed Mr Wali with his chest, and challenged him to ‘come at me then’.

Mr Wali rang a male friend for help, saying he was going to be in a fight.

The defendant then produced a 20cm long black knife with zigzag-shaped indentations on the blade.

Mr Wali told the female friend to step away, and as the pushing continued, he told the defendant: ‘Touch me with that hand if you can.’

The defendant then stabbed Mr Wali in the right side, causing a 10cm deep wound and massive blood loss.

Fatally injured, Mr Wali grabbed the defendant’s jacket and asked: ‘Why did you stab me?’

He picked up a fallen branch but collapsed soon afterwards.

A teacher from a local school gave first aid and emergency services attended but they were unable to save Mr Wali’s life and he died about an hour later.

Mr Hallam told the court the 17-year-old defendant had admitted that he acted out in anger in a phone call from custody which was recorded.

The youth agreed he was hot headed and said it was ‘just anger’ and stabbing was ‘a way to release your anger’.

Giving evidence in court, the youth claimed he got the knife out because they were ‘pushing each other’ and he wanted to be left alone.

He said he grew ‘scared’ when Mr Wali called his male friend for ‘back-up’, and added: ‘I thought he had something on him, a knife.’

At the time of the killing, the youth said he sometimes ‘felt unsafe’ walking on the streets and would carry a knife for ‘protection’ after incidents in which he, a cousin and a friend were attacked.

The court was shown a photograph of the defendant’s hand, which needed stitches after he was attacked with a knife in New Cross in 2020.

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