A teenager has been found guilty of stabbing an Afghan refugee just hours after he was sentenced to jail for possession of a Rambo knife.
The 17-year-old killer attacked Hazrat Wali on pitches in Twickenham in front of horrified schoolchildren.
The promising cricketer from Notting Hill, west London, died of massive blood loss an hour after being stabbed on October 12, 2021.
The accused, who cannot be named because of his age, then went with his friends to a nearby McDonald’s restaurant, where he attacked an employee.
The jury was told the defendant, who was enrolled in a college course, was caught with a black knife two months before the August 5, 2021 murder at the Southside shopping center in Wandsworth.
He pleaded guilty to that offense and was granted a juvenile rehabilitation order by Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court on the morning of 12 October.
Later that afternoon, Mr Wali was sitting in a park with a friend when he was approached by the defendant and a group of other teenagers.
The court heard that the defendant challenged Mr. Wali after a brief exchange of blows before taking out a 20cm black knife with zigzag indentations on the blade and stabbing him in the right side of the chest.
On Tuesday at the Old Bailey, the teenager was acquitted of murder but convicted of manslaughter by a majority of 10-2 after alleging he acted in self-defense.
Children playing in a rugby match between Richmond School and Hampton School witnessed the stabbing and staff administered first aid.
Emergency services were present but managed to save Mr Wali’s life.
In court, the youth testified that he took out the knife because they were “harassing each other” and he wanted to be left alone.
He said he got “scared” when Mr Wali called his male friend for “assistance”, adding: “I thought he had something on him, a knife.”
Mr. Wali left Afghanistan in 2015 at the age of 13 and after a short period in Austria moved to the UK, settling in London in 2017.
Scotland Yard said he was described by everyone who knew him at all care facilities as shy, friendly, polite and respectful of everyone he met.
Detective Inspector Matt Denby said: “Tragically, another young life was ended by people with knives.
“This was a completely senseless murder. Incidents like this show why fighting knife crime is a priority for the Met and why we work tirelessly with our partners to bring those who carry knives on our streets to justice.
“I sincerely hope that Hazrat’s loved ones will find some comfort in this conviction. My thoughts are with them and the community that has supported the family throughout.”
The accused will be sentenced on March 10th.