Refugee who stabbed a person previously convicted of murder in Serbia

An asylum seeker who repeatedly stabbed a young man to death because of an e-scooter may turn out to have been previously convicted of murder in Serbia.

Lawangeen Abdulrahimzai was sentenced in absentia to 20 years in prison after a murder-related trial in Serbia at the UK court’s preliminary hearing.

The court also heard that he had been convicted of drug dealing in Italy and was sentenced to a non-custodial sentence after pleading guilty.

Prosecutor Ellie Fargin told Salisbury Crown Court: “Two people were shot dead near a gas station outside a refugee zone.

“The evidence comes from a taxi driver driving people to the scene, and they see a photo and show the defendant as the person they drove.

“And someone who would be considered a co-defendant in this country also had evidence given at the trial.”

The court heard that Serbian authorities wanted his extradition, but the English courts were unlikely to deport him without an automatic right of appeal as he was convicted in absentia.

The court was told that Abdulrahimzai had arrived in the UK as an asylum seeker in 2019 and claimed to be 14 at the time and 16 at the time of the Bournemouth affair.

However, at a pre-trial age determination hearing held by the court, the defendant’s teeth were examined, and the judge Ms Justice Cutts determined that the defendant was actually 21 years old, setting the defendant’s date of birth as October 7, 2001. .

The court heard that he believed he was younger because this had been told to him by an uncle while he was still in Afghanistan.

Abdulrahimzai said at the hearing that it is normal for people in Afghanistan not to know their date of birth due to lack of education and that his uncle told him the wrong date.

During the hearing at Salisbury Crown Court regarding the murder of Thomas Roberts in Bournemouth, the defendant, who “had a fascination with knives”, confessed to stabbing the 21-year-old boy who died of his injuries.

Abdulrahimzai was found mostly guilty of murder after 12 hours of jury deliberations on Monday.

Abdulrahimzai shared photos of him posing with a knife about 10 inches long on social media and video sharing application TikTok in the months before the incident.

She was seen carrying a knife by her step-parent, who warned her not to, and was also warned by the police and social workers about the dangers of carrying a knife.

Abdulrahimzai told the court he carried a knife and received death threats in Bournemouth because he “feared” for his life as there were people from Afghanistan who wanted to kill him.

The defendant said he shared photos of his knife on TikTok to gain followers from “people who love the knife”.

Abdulrahimzai told the court that he was killed when the Taliban planted a bomb in his family’s home because they suspected his parents were collaborating with American forces.

“I saw some explosions not far away. There was an American base not far from where we live and the Taliban would come and demand something and there would be clashes and gunfire.

“They used heavy weapons like the rocket launcher. They planted bombs around my house, I was at my uncle’s house at the time, my parents were dead when I got home. I saw body parts and a lot of blood.”

Abdulrahimzai said he was later captured and tortured by the Taliban for up to three weeks, after which he was thrown by the side of the road and left to die.

The jury was shown photos of the scars all over his body, which he said were caused by torture, where he had been beaten with rifle butts and stabbed with knives.

However, a passerby rescued him, tended to his wounds, and put him back in touch with his uncle, who arranged for him to leave Afghanistan.

He first traveled to Serbia via Pakistan and Iran in October 2015, then arrived in Norway later that month with a friend he considered an adopted brother.

Abdulrahimzai then left Norway and stayed for a while in Italy and Serbia.

He applied for asylum in Norway, but when his application was rejected in December 2019, he left Afghanistan for fear of deportation and arrived in the United Kingdom in Poole, Dorset, the same month.

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