Tributes paid to Finsbury Park butcher killed with own knife

Tributes have been paid to a butcher from Finsbury Park who was stabbed to death with one of his own knives.

Irfan Ahmad, 24, of Hanley Road, was knifed in the chest shortly after 3pm last Thursday at the shop where he worked.

The owner of the store, Halal Food Direct in Wood Green, paid tribute to his former employee this week.

Shahie Ali said: “He was very well-liked by all the staff in the shop. He had a smile for everybody and was very kind-hearted. Customers have come in and broken down in tears when they have heard.

“He was just one of those really smiley, happy people who everybody liked.”

Mr Ali told how Mr Ahmad was trying to act as peacekeeper in a row between the attacker and a colleague selling phone cards from a stall at the front of the shop.

He said: “The attacker is a known troublemaker. He had argued with the guy selling phone cards the day before and there were some fisticuffs involved.

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“He came back and was causing trouble and shouting. Irfan told him there was no need for that sort of stuff – but the guy just went for him. He got behind the counter and picked up one of the butcher’s knives and stabbed him in the chest.

“He was just trying to be a peacemaker and break up what was going on. He was very much that kind of person.”

Colleagues tried to stem the blood as Mr Ahmad lay dying behind the counter before paramedics arrived and took over, but he was pronounced dead at the scene. The knifeman is still on the run after fleeing the scene on foot.

Mr Ahmad had worked at the shop for about a year and had one cousin in London.

His family in Pakistan, including his doctor mother, have been informed of his death.

The butchers was closed until Monday and a Muslim service was held there on Sunday.

Police have yet to make an arrest or issue a description of the suspect, and are appealing for witnesses.

Det Ch Insp Steven Lawrence, of the Homicide and Serious Crime Command, said: “This incident occurred in a busy area in the middle of the afternoon, and we need to hear from any witnesses who have not yet come forward.”

Anyone who can assist should call the incident room on 020 7321 9290 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.