The independent London newspaper

‘Put down weapons’ plea from father of stab victim

13 December, 2019 — By Samantha Booth

Zahir Visiter was stabbed in a ‘brutal’ attack

THE father of a young man stabbed to death in St John’s Wood has called for young people to “put down your weapons” as the killer was jailed.

Zahir Visiter, 25, was killed in Cunningham Place on March 28.

Kamal Hussain, 22, of Sutherland Avenue in Maida Vale was jailed for 15 years this week after being found guilty of manslaughter.

Leo Visiter, Zahir’s father, said in a statement: “The impact of this crime is chaos and true heartbreak. The pain is immeasurable. It has destabilised what was a happy and contented family unit.

“Not a day passes without the dreadful memory of that fateful day when my son was so cruelly taken away from us. I would like to believe that cases such as these serve as a reason why ‘knife crime’ should be taken extremely seriously by the youth of today.

“I am sure there are many young people and their parents who are worried, but sadly it does not seem to make much difference to the rising incidence of such crimes.”

He added: “To the youth of Britain, I ask you, for the love of God and country, put down your weapons. End this futile battle and these crimes of hate and savagery. Remember ‘You’ are a son, a brother, a grandson and a future father.”

Mr Visiter also thanked faith leaders from the Christian, Jewish and Muslim communities for their assistance and support.

Guilty: Kamal Hussain

Zahir had told his family he was going to a meeting near his flat to hand over some money. He left the flat with about £280 in cash.

Minutes later he was stabbed several times causing fatal injuries. Members of the public saw him lying in Cunningham Place and a blood trail showed he travelled a short distance from near his home before collapsing. A pathologist said the wounds had been delivered with “considerable force”.

A search of Zahir’s clothing found the money he had taken had gone missing.

CCTV showed Hussain on a rented bicycle close to Zahir’s home and later running away along the Regent’s Canal towpath toward Lisson Grove.

A knife was found in the canal and Hussain’s abandoned balaclava, which led to him being identified. Plain-clothed police officers on patrol spotted him in Lisson Grove estate and chased him toward the Regent’s Park Mosque, which he entered through an underground car park. He changed clothes before leaving the mosque but was later arrested. Police say they may never know what the exact motive for the stabbing was.]

Detective Sergeant Gary Royal, said: “What exactly led to this brutal stabbing may never be known for sure. It appears that money that Zahir had with him was missing, but whether his death was motivated by robbery or some other cause may never be known.

“What can be said is that this appears to have been a planned and brutal attack and the wounds to Zahir were found to have been delivered with considerable force.

“I would like to thank all those who came to Zahir’s aid and all those who co-operated with the investigation. I hope [the] sentence brings some closure to Zahir’s family who have been deeply traumatised by his loss.”


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