Family of Tufnell Park fatal robbery victim Ali Al Har slam ‘shameful’ court verdict
- Credit: Archant
The heartbroken family of a biochemist who was fatally stabbed in Tufnell Park have slammed the justice system after the man who admitted inflicting the fatal wound was convicted of robbery.
Ali Al Har could speak and write fluently in Arabic, Dutch, French and English. The 25-year-old had studied at Nottingham University - and was determined to invent a cure for psoriasis: the skin condition his father suffers from severely.
Ali died after a struggle in which he was stabbed twice in the leg by Abdirahman Abdullahi with a 12in combat knife during a botched drugs robbery in Corinne Road in September.
But a jury acquitted Abdullahi of murder and the alternative of manslaughter at the Old Bailey on April 18. He was jailed for nine years and eight months a week later - and will then serve a further three years in jail for two separate drugs offences.
Bereaved father Abdullah Al Har, 54, told the Gazette: "We are shocked at the jury's unbelievable decision - it was shameful.
You may also want to watch:
"Unfortunately in this country you can do nothing [to overturn] the jury's decision. I would try to find anything to repeat the court case but all the solicitors say you can't do anything.
"The police were very nice but for them they are just doing their job.
- 1 Tributes paid to Islington student fatally stabbed in Tottenham
- 2 Man wrestled to floor during attempted robbery in Finsbury Park
- 3 Arsenal fan's search for every Highbury Stadium match since 1940s
- 4 Old Street roundabout project moves into final phase
- 5 Man dies after collapsing in Islington
- 6 Designated Covid care setting celebrates intervention on insurance issues
- 7 Highbury woman launches pen pal initiative to fight lockdown loneliness
- 8 Residents' 'frustration' as Royal Mail works to deliver in lockdown
- 9 Teaching mentor comes 'full circle' working at Islington school
- 10 Arsenal legend Nigel Winterburn relieved to see Mesut Ozil depart
"This was just a case for them and they wanted to move on to the next one.
"Unfortunately they didn't have hard evidence."
During Abdullahi's sentencing, judge Wendy Joseph found he fatally wounded Ali after robbing him for a bag containing up to a kilo of cannabis. But Ali's devastated family refuse to believe this, or remember their son as a dealer.
"Ali had many friends because he was kind and would help anyone," said his father.
"There was a guy studying sports medicine in the library whose mother language was french. Ali didn't know him but he helped him with his research and tutored him and even let him stay at our house for two weeks and he helped him get his degree."
Ali's sister Hibe Al Har, 14, has been out of school since her brother was fatally stabbed but hopes to return next year.
"There is always going to be an open wound," she said. "Ali was not only a brother but we were very close in 100 different ways so for him to go is just so difficult."
Abdullah added: "He was looking after everyone, me as well.
"His mother asked him to leave the UK and go to [their native] Holland to continue his studies but he refused because he was looking after me and his mother.
"She's disabled and I have lots of problems with my spine - I have to get injections in my neck later this week. Ali would always come with me, but now..."
The family didn't want to share any more pictures of Ali than the one already circulated by the police.
His mother is so overcome with grief every time she sees her son's face they've had to take down all his photographs in the house.
"Every day you read about a 14- or 15-year-old passing away," said Hibe.
"I understand people holding knives are horrible people - but there is nothing else they have, mostly because no one cares when they're young.
"Abdullahi started in the system when he was a teenager and had nothing else so he continued."
During the trial, judge Joseph said the defendant had "already accrued an unenviable list of convictions", which date back to 2013 and include GBH and possession of 28 wraps of heroin and 25 packets of cocaine.
The family say they have also complained to police, after they specifically told them not to use Ali's case as an example in schools - and were then allegedly ignored.
"We have complained about the police talking about him in schools," said Hibe. "They came and asked us [if they could do it] and we had to hold it together and sign a piece of paper saying we didn't want them to. But they didn't care - it's totally horrible and messed up."
A Met Police spokesperson said: "The MPS are committed to supporting the families of victims, and a well-established family liaison process is in place. The facts of a case are in the public domain, and it is impossible to provide guarantees that - when discussing the overall picture of policing, crime and public safety - reference will not be made by any of our officers and staff to any particular case.
"We remain in contact with the victim's family. We will explain our position and seek to reassure them that we expect our officers to discuss any such tragic case with care and sensitivity. Our motivation is, of course, to prevent further loss of life and to reduce the number of families suffering in this way."
After Ali was injured, Brett Thompson, of Corinne Road, told the Gazette he tried to stem the bleeding from his leg.
He claimed the victim said: "My name's Ali and I'm from Wembley".
Ali's family have now confirmed they were living in Ladbroke Grove at the time of the incident
The family has no connection to Tufnell Park, where the attack took place.