Abraham Omotoso, who stabbed a father to death in a busy high street while his young daughter was in a nearby shop, has been jailed.
Omotoso, 27, of Tudor Gardens, Harrow, was handed an 18-year prison sentence on Friday, 13 October, following a two-week trial, where he was found guilty of manslaughter at the Old Bailey.
He was found not guilty of murder.
Police were called at about 18:50hrs on Monday, 27 February to reports that a man had been stabbed on High Street in Wealdstone.
The man was taken to a central London hospital by the London Ambulance Service but despite the best efforts of medical staff and extensive surgery, he was pronounced dead at about 02:30hrs on Tuesday, 28 February.
The victim was identified as 34-year-old Mohamed Al-Zufairi, a father-of-two from Harrow.
A post-mortem examination gave the cause of death as a stab wound to the chest.
Shortly before 18:50hrs on Monday, 27 February, Mohamed arrived in High Street, Wealdstone, with his eight-year-old daughter. He sent her into Poundland to buy some items while he waited outside. It was then that he was approached by Omotoso.
Witnesses reported that they had a short argument before Omotoso, who was wearing a parka-style coat with the hood pulled up, stabbed Mohamed and ran from the scene still holding the knife.
Mohamed’s daughter did not witness the incident.
On Tuesday, 28 February police were notified that the suspect could have been someone by the name of Femi Omotoso. At about 18:00hrs, he was arrested on the suspicion of murder under the name of Abraham Omotoso at Gatwick airport having just purchased a one-way ticket to Nigeria with cash.
Detectives carried out a number of enquiries, including reviewing CCTV which showed Mohamed walking with his daughter in High Street on 27 February before she goes into Poundland.
It also shows Omotoso walking in High Street in a ‘purposeful’ manner before approaching Mohamed, fleeing the scene and getting in a black Range Rover nearby and driving away.
Officers also tracked Omotoso’s movements in the days leading up to the murder and he was caught on CCTV wearing the same parka-style coat on two separate occasions.
Detectives also examined Omotoso’s mobile phone data which showed it was inactive between 12:40hrs and 19:09hrs on 27 February, which was not in line with Omotoso’s usual daily phone use patterns. The phone’s movement also matched the movement of the Range Rover that left the scene of the crime.
Omotoso remained silent in all of his police interviews. He was charged on 6 March.
Detectives believe the motive for the attack was an ongoing feud between the victim’s brothers and Omotoso’s brother and friends.
Detective Inspector Jon Meager, the investigating officer from the Met’s Homicide and Major Crime Command, said:
“This was a brutal attack in a busy high street which resulted in a young father losing his life. While his daughter did not witness the assault, it is something that is undoubtedly going to affect her for life. Omotoso has shown no remorse for his actions on that day. I hope his conviction gives Mohamed’s family a measure of closure and comfort.”
In a statement, Mohamed’s brother Jafar said:
“Mohamed was a family man, his family came first. I still can not really believe what has happened to Mohamed, the constant grief just gets worse. It’s like a massive hole just suddenly appeared in our family, our big brother was there one minute and suddenly he was snatched away. None of us can get a grasp of or understand. It makes it so much worse that we know that he was killed.
“I think it has hit his daughter the hardest. She did not see her dad being stabbed, but was with him. She walked to the local shops to get some sweets with her dad and returned home without him. She was the last one with, holding his hand as she says ‘Daddy never came home with me’.
“Our lives will never be the same, they have been scarred.