Was involved in the altercation that led to the death of Omid Saidy in Fulham
A 19-year-old drug dealer has been jailed for his part in the events which led to the murder of Fulham resident Omid Saidy. The youth worker had asked him and a 17-year-old associate to stop selling drugs on his road on more than one occasion and when they continued a knife fight ensued in which he was stabbed to death.
Shafiq Smith of Laitwood Road was found not guilty of murder or manslaughter in relation to Omid, but guilty of grievous bodily harm with intent in relation to Omid's friend Oluwafemi Omotosho.
He was sentenced to six years' imprisonment for grievous bodily harm at the Old Bailey on Friday (15 June). He was also sentenced to one month imprisonment, to run consecutively, for possession of an offensive weapon in a public place after he was arrested in Mitcham in October 2016.
A 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had been found guilty of the manslaughter of 20-year-old Omid Saidy at the Old Bailey on Thursday, 10 May. He was found not guilty of murder at the same court last Friday.
He was sentenced to eight years' imprisonment, to serve a minimum of two thirds, and was given an extended licence of three years. He had previous convictions for carrying a machete and armed robbery using a knife.
Police received a call on Monday, 16 October 2017 at 7.37pm saying that three males had been stabbed in the area surrounding Parsons Green Tube Station.
They found three men who had been injured including Omid Saidy, a voluntary youth worker from Fulham, who was pronounced dead in Parsons Green Lane at 8.30pm.
Omid’s friend Oluwafemi Omotosho was also found suffering from stab injuries, as was the 17-year-old.
At about 4pm that day, Omid was at home when he saw what he believed to be a drug deal happening outside. This had been a reoccurring problem and he went outside and asked the two males to find another spot.
They returned about 30 minutes later and Omid went back outside, this time with his father and brother, and once again asked the males to move on. They agreed and walked away.
At about 7pm, Omid’s father was alerted by his daughter that the dealers were back and were covering their faces with masks and hoods. He went out to investigate with his dog, when he saw Omid, who had left the house earlier thinking the situation was resolved, challenge the males and chase them away. Omid’s father followed behind.
During the chase, the two males produced knives and were waving them at Omid. Omid, also armed with a knife, said he would not be intimidated by them and he wanted them out of the area.
Omid called his friend Omotosho for help. Omotosho arrived a short time later and joined the chase on his moped. He also had a knife.
There was an altercation between the three, which resulted in Omid receiving fatal injuries. It is believed Omid stabbed the 17-year-old during the altercation.
Omotosho drove at the males on his moped in a bid to defend his friend, but he lost control and crashed into some parked vehicles.
Omotosho fell to the ground and was defenceless when Smith approached him and stabbed him in the chest. Both suspects then fled the scene.
At this point, Omid’s father caught up and found his son collapsed near Parsons Green Tube Station. Despite emergency treatment, Omid died at the scene. He had been stabbed four times, in his neck, torso and buttock.
The 17-year-old ran off in the direction of Munster Road and he was arrested just before 8pm. During his attempted escape, he disposed of a knife in a road drain nearby. He had also been stabbed during the altercation.
The knife used by the boy was recovered from the drain by officers during a search on 17 October and it was found to have Omid’s blood on it.
During his initial interviews, the 17-year-old said he knew nothing of what happened, but during subsequent interviews he said he was a victim of crime, mostly giving no comment answers to further questions.
Officers carried out extensive CCTV enquiries and saw one of the suspects, later identified as Smith, make his way onto the Fulham Court Estate following the incident clearly carrying a knife.
Smith went on the run but thanks to a successful operation by officers and partners, he was located and arrested on 19 October. He gave a prepared statement where he admitted presence at the scene, but said he acted in self-defence and may have stabbed the moped rider. He gave no comment answers to all questions asked.
Smith and the 17 year-old were caught on CCTV together several times in the area that day.
Upon sentencing the two teenagers, Judge Anne Molyneux said: "Knives wreck lives. They do not prevent violence. They fuel it. They do not protect, they kill, maim, injure and destroy.
"You both chose to carry a knife on 16 October, as did Omid and Omotosho. Omid lost his life. His family will carry the pain of his loss forever. You will both now serve a custodial sentence."
19-year-old Oluwafemi Omotosho, of Pearscroft Road, SW6, was arrested and charged with possession of a bladed or sharply pointed article in a public place and affray. He previously pleaded guilty to these charges on 23 October 2017 and was sentenced to 16 months' imprisonment for affray and three months' imprisonment for possession of a bladed or sharply pointed article in a public place, to run concurrently.
In a statement Omid's family said: "We have lost our amazing, beautiful son. I pray that he did not die for nothing and it brings it all back every time I see another kid killed. I am numb with pain, but angry at the system. The youths claim that they are scared and so they carry knives. This is utter rubbish.
"They carry knives because they want to hurt people. They see getting arrested for carrying knives and a conviction as a badge of honour - three months inside for a knife is no deterrent. I need the public's help to support me in creating a petition to help knife crime sentencing.
"Look at the 17-year-old who killed my son, he was convicted of carrying a knife, then convicted of robbery with a machete. After being released from prison, he came to London and got a hunting knife and now my son is dead.
"Smith was arrested on a moped carrying a knife only four days before Omid was killed. Police sent him to court and I ask myself would Omid be alive if Smith had not been released on bail by the court?
"I feel really strongly that there needs to be tougher sentencing for carrying a knife, let alone using it. Some young people do not see the sentences as a deterrent, it is seen as a badge of honour getting convicted, then you move up the rankings: 'look at me I am so bad!'
"Where some get badges for swimming and Scouts, some aspire to get a 'badge of honour' for inflicting pain and ruining lives. I want to get a public discussion going that we need to get tougher on first time knife carriers, let alone second timers and those who use the knife. There is no reason why anyone should have a knife on the street."
Detective Chief Inspector Noel McHugh, who led the investigation, said: "Omid tragically lost his life for simply asking some drug dealers to move on from outside his home. Omid's family are heartbroken to have lost a loving son and brother. Omid's poor father witnessed his death. Omid was a voluntary youth worker who wanted to make young people's lives better. His loss has left a huge gap in the community.
"The defendants clearly wanted to fight and that they were more than prepared to use excessive force when the opportunity arose - even in a busy high street.
"The local residents and witnesses have been so supportive and Omid's family are indebted to you for stepping forward.
"We have decided to release the images of the weapons involved to challenge the consciousness of those knife carriers who might be minded to walk out the front door armed with a knife today. There is no reason why you would have such weapons at home let alone on the street, other than to inflict serious injury or kill.
The knives used in the attack
"For a very small section of our community, such knives have become as normal as your mobile phone. You need to reprogram and appreciate that carrying that weapon is your one way ticket to a significant sentence or life in prison or, as often happens, you become the victim."
June 20, 2018