‘We hope killer never comes out’ – says family of murdered Stratford cab controller
PUBLISHED: 17:14 01 May 2015 | UPDATED: 17:42 01 May 2015
The father of murdered Mohammed Yasser Afzal has said he will never be able to find forgiveness for his son’s killer.
Mohammed Afzal believes true justice will never be served after his son was stabbed to death 20 times with a kitchen knife.
Gulam Chowdhury, 24, of Heenan Close, Barking, was handed a life sentence for the murder at the Old Bailey today and will serve a minimum of 28 years.
Speaking to the Post after the sentencing, Mr Afzal said: “We are happy with the sentence, at least he’s gone away for a long time. For us we hope he never comes out.”
He added that no man should ever have to bury his son, who he described as an outgoing, kind and hard working person.
In a statement read out by prosecutor Sandip Patel QC in court, Mr Afzal wrote that his son was taken from him in a “cruel and unforgiving” way.
“It has been over a year since the horrendous night when our life changed forever and my son Yasser was murdered,” he added.
“What has happened has left [his family] totally devastated. They all have sleepless nights and I lay in bed at night hearing them cry and it breaks my heart. Things will never be the same again.”
He explained as a result of the murder the family has struggled financially as they cannot bring themselves to work in the Stratford minicab office where he was killed.
“I fully expected to see Yasser married, happy and having children but that will never happen,” he added.
“As a family we will stay strong together and we will never forget. I can’t ever bring myself to find forgiveness. People say time is a healer but I can’t see how.”
Mr Afzal’s older brother, Rahil Afzal, 25, told the Post the motive for the killing was to get hold of pictures of his brother’s ex girlfriend, Miss Riaz.
“These were never in existence in the first place though,” he added. “There was no reason for [Chowdhury] to commit this crime.”
Chowdhury was led out of court to eruptions of anger from the public gallery, which was filled with Mr Afzal’s family and friends.
Sentencing him today Judge Timothy Pontius said the CCTV footage of the murder was amongst the worst he had ever seen.
“No one can doubt that this was an attack of appalling savagery,” he added.
“The affect on his family of losing a much loved brother and son has no doubt been made more painful and difficult to bare considering the terrible way he met his death.”
During the four week trial, the court heard how Mr Afzal, 22, was killed by love rival Chowdhury after his secret girlfriend Riaz felt she could not break up with him in case he showed intimate photos of her to her family.
Mr Afzal, who lived in Norwich Road, Forest Gate, died after being stabbed at the E20 Cars control office in Stratford Broadway.
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