Killer jailed for 15 years for Zahir murder in St John’s Wood

BY YANN TEAR
yann@slpmedia.co.uk

The father of a young man brutally stabbed to death has spoken of the anguish felt after his son’s senseless murder.

Zahir Visiter was stabbed to death in Cunningham Place, St John’s Wood, at around 6.15pm on Tuesday, March 28 this year.

On Tuesday, his killer, 22-year-old Kamal Hussain, of Sutherland Avenue, Maida Vale, was sentenced to 15 years in jail at the Old Bailey, having been found guilty of manslaughter following a trial at the Old Bailey on October 25.

Hussain will serve a minimum of two thirds of the sentence, with a
further two years to be served on licence upon his release.

“The impact of this crime is chaos and true heartbreak,” said Leo Visiter in an impact statement in court. “The pain is immeasurable. It has destabilised what was a happy and contented family unit.

“Not a day passes without the dreadful memory of that fateful day when my son was so cruelly taken away from us.

“I would like to believe that cases such as these serve as a reason why knife crime should be taken extremely seriously by the youth of today.

I am sure there are many young people and their parents who are worried, but sadly it does not seem to make much difference to the rising incidents of such crimes.

“No words can convey the agony I am going through. No words are
adequate to convey how much Zahir’s lifelong friends are suffering.

“Their young lives have also been gravely affected. Some of them and also myself are even suffering Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which could take months, or even years, to resolve.

“Our immediate community has been shaken to its foundations; it
engenders fear for all. Fear for themselves, fear for our young people and their safety on our streets. This is the harsh reality of today’s society right across Britain.

“What a sad state of affairs that ‘good’ children consider arming themselves for their own defence and safety.

“I think of this country as my home but now I do not feel as secure. My only comfort is that some truly good people still exist in this world. I live my life with hope of a better future, filled with peace in the years ahead.

“To the youth of Britain, I ask you, for the love of God and country, put down your weapons. End this futile battle and these crimes of hate and savagery. Remember, you are a son, a brother, a grandson and a
future father.”

Zahir told his family he was going to a meeting near his flat in order to hand over some money on the fateful day and left the flat with about
£280 in cash.

A matter of minutes later, he had been stabbed four times.

One wound was to his back and another on his arm, thought to have been made when he was trying to defend himself. However the other two wounds were to his chest, and both caused fatal injuries.

Zahir was first seen injured by members of the public who saw him lying in Cunningham Place.

A blood trail indicated he had been able to travel a short distance from near his home, before he collapsed.

Members of the public, including an off-duty paramedic and GP, tended to him at the scene, but his injuries were not survivable and he was pronounced dead just before 7.20pm at St Mary’s Hospital.

A post-mortem confirmed that the two stab wounds to the upper chest were the fatal injuries, both entered the right lung and one had pierced the heart.

It was also noted by the pathologist that all the wounds had been
delivered with considerable force.

A search of Zahir’s clothing showed that the money he had taken to the meeting was Missing.

CCTV footage showed Hussain at 6.06pm travelling on a rented bicycle in the general direction of Zahir’s address.

He could then be seen travelling past the road where Zahir was waiting for his meeting, before immediately returning to Zahir’s location by a different route just over a minute later.

Minutes later, Zahir emerged on to Cunningham Place having been stabbed four times and then collapsed.He was closely followed by Hussain, who looked towards him as he was injured with his hood over his head.

One witness told the court Hussain put on a balaclava to disguise his appearance and that although he moved away, continued to watch as others came to Zahir’s aid.

He then walked away, following a pathway running alongside the
Regent’s Canal to Lisson Grove.

A knife was subsequently found in this stretch of the canal and at an
adjacent position on the towpath, police recovered a balaclava.

As a result of information, Hussain’s details were circulated and plain clothes officers on patrol spotted someone matching his description crossing the canal near the Lisson Green Estate.

He fled from officers, running to the Central Mosque which he entered via the underground car park.

He then made his way to a wash room where he discarded his outer clothing. A pair of trousers left behind at the mosque were found to have a trace of Hussain’s DNA.

Shortly after midnight on Wednesday, April 3, Hussain was arrested and taken to a north London police station where he declined to answer questions but provided a prepared statement denying responsibility for the killing.

At the same trail, 18-year-old Yosif Ahmed was found not guilty of
murder at the same trial.

An 18-year-old man arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender was released under investigation.


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