Nine convicted over violent clashes that led to man’s death
Nine people have been convicted at court for their part in a violent confrontation between two shisha lounge groups that left a man dead.
Trouble flared in Moseley Street, Highgate, at 3.30am on 17 December 2016 when a group of Asian and Somali men attacked each other with metal bars, sticks and knives.
The fight left 23-year-old Ibrahim Ismail – a Syrian national studying in Solihull and living in Birmingham – fatally wounded in the street having been stabbed in the chest and back.
The catalyst came 30 minutes earlier when Rebaz Kamal and his wife Shabana Bibi were driving home along Birchall Street after a night out at the Emperor shisha lounge.
Bibi encountered a group of Somalian men in the street near Raxo shisha lounge and, as she tried weaving through them, the 32-year-old claimed one approached the car shouting abuse before hitting Kamal through the open passenger window
They sped back to the Emperor lounge and minutes later a group of men emerged intent on revenge having armed themselves with sticks, poles and metal bars.
CCTV shows Kamal, aged 32 from Westminster Crescent, Handsworth, take a weapon from Bibi’s car – possibly a hockey stick or pool cue – and beckon his brother Shabaz Kamal plus Abderahman Chouiab, Awaas Aftab, Abdullah Alshameri, Andam Rasol, Tabean Abdullah and Ibrahim Ismail into Moseley Street.
The rival factions engaged for little more than a minute before separating – but as the crowd dispersed Ibrahim Ismail remained slumped in the street being comforted by 24-year-old Shabaz Kamal.
He was treated by paramedics but pronounced dead in an ambulance en route to hospital.
Alshameri (21) from Churchill Road, Handsworth, and 20-year-old Abdullah from Stoney Lane, Sparkbrook, were driven away by Bibi while others return to the Emperor lounge.
Club manager Adam Ijaz (25) from Burnham Road, Great Barr, deleted CCTV from the security system hard-drive and later told officers he couldn’t access the footage as he’d lost the password.
However, the footage was forensically recovered by West Midlands Police. It shows the group arming themselves before leaving the venue and Aftab (24) from Hobs Moat Road, Solihull, later re-enacting his actions in the fight.
The Kamals, Alshameri, Abdullah, Aftab, Chouiab (25) from Kitts Green Road and 24-year-old Rasol from Queens Head Road, Handsworth, all admitted violent disorder, while Ijaz admitted perverting the course of justice.
Rebaz Kamal, Aftab and Abdullah also admitted possessing offensive weapons.
Bibi from Station Road, Witton, denied two counts of assisting an offender and violent disorder, arguing that she stayed in her Honda Accord throughout the violence.
However, a jury at Birmingham Crown Court concluded she had played an active part in the attack and found her guilty of violent disorder and two counts of assisting offenders.
And at the same court today (22 Oct) ringleader Rebaz Kamal was jailed for two years for his role in instigating the trouble, while the eight other defendants all received suspended jail terms.
Shebaz Kamal, Chouiab, Aftab, Alshameri, Rasol and Ijaz were all given 18 month sentences suspended for 21 months and ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work.
Abdullah was handed the same suspended sentence, while Bibi was given a 20 month term also suspended for 21 months.
Detective Inspector Caroline Corfield is leading the murder investigation. She said: “There is no evidence to suggest the people sentenced today inflicted the fatal blow on Ibrahim Ismail but they have rightly faced justice for their part in the events surrounding his death.
“They were his friends and colleagues but on the night he died they armed themselves with weapons and headed with him to Moseley Street prepared for violence.
“On returning to the Emperor Shisha lounge Awaas Aftab was captured on CCTV acting out their violent behaviour – but while he was doing this Ibrahim lay dying in Moseley Street.
“On discovering Ibrahim’s death Adam Ijaz deleted the CCTV which captured both the group arming themselves and Aftab’s re-enactment of events. Their behaviour following Ibrahim’s murder was entirely self-centred and sought to undermine rather than assist the police investigation into his death.
“Ibrahim’s family have welcomed these convictions but this is still very much a live investigation into Ibrahim’s murder. We’ve arrested a total of 23 people during the course of this investigation and voluntarily interviewed others. We are working closely with CPS to consider charging other people we suspect played a role in the violence.
“We know we have not traced everyone who was in Moseley Street that night and I would ask anyone who was there to get in touch; they could hold valuable information and I hope those people can find it in their hearts to come forward to help us seek justice for Ibrahim’s family."
Anyone with information is urged to call West Midlands Police’s Homicide Unit on 101 or LiveChat between 8am and midnight via west-midlands.pnn.police.uk. Or information can be passed anonymously to the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 – you won’t be asked to leave your name or contact details.