Illegal immigrant murdered workmate with axe at carpet shop then wheeled him to cemetery in shopping trolley

Author: Danya Bazaraa

A suspected illegal immigrant murdered his colleague with an axe then redecorated the carpet shop where they worked to try and cover his tracks.

Imran Muhammad, 31, hid Seyed Khan’s body inside a shopping trolley and wheeled him to a cemetery.

Muhammad painted over blood marks in their workplace and concocted a story about how Mr Khan had disappeared to tell his relatives.

Police interviews with the victim’s family revealed he had caught Muhammad stealing from the shop and that Muhammad had begged for him not to tell the owner.

While Muhammad had never admitted this, it is strongly suspected this was the motive for the attack, police said.

It was also established that Muhammad was illegally living in the UK and he feared he would be deported back to Pakistan if he came to the attention of the authorities.

Muhammad, of Ilford, has been jailed for life at the Old Bailey today.

He was ordered to serve a minimum of 24 years in jail after being found guilty of the murder of 49-year-old Seyed Khan at the same court yesterday.

Muhammad was also found guilty of perverting the course of justice and was jailed for five years.

The sentences will run concurrently.

The court heard how Muhammad, who was employed at A-Z Carpets in Ilford, was left in charge of running the shop while the owner was out of the country.

Mr Khan, who was a friend of the owner, had been helping by carrying out deliveries in the evening.

On the evening of January 24, he told his family he was going to the shop to do some deliveries.

CCTV footage, which was subsequently gathered as part of the investigation, showed Mr Khan parking his car in the street outside the shop and entering the premises at around 6pm – the last time he was seen alive.

About ten minutes later the shutters on the shop were seen to come down and the internal lights turned off.

In that short period of time, Mr Khan had entered the shop and been attacked with an axe by Muhammad, sustaining fatal head injuries in the process.

As the victim lay dying on the floor, Muhammad began a futile attempt to cover his tracks which included moving the body, redecorating the shop and attempting to dispose of incriminating evidence.

At around 01:20am on January 25, CCTV captured Muhammad wheeling a shopping trolley down the High Road towards a cemetery.

Mr Khan’s body was concealed inside this trolley and Muhammad dumped the corpse, along with other items, in the cemetery.

Having returned to the shop, Muhammad disposed of a number of items in bins at the back.

He tried to clean up the area where he had attacked Mr Khan, by repainting an interior wall where blood marks had been left.

Muhammad also made a call to the owner of the shop in an attempt to deflect attention away from him, pretending he was concerned for his colleague’s welfare.

He concocted a story that Mr Khan had turned up at work the previous evening and then left the shop to take a phone call but didn’t come back.

On the morning of January 25, Mr Khan’s family – concerned that they could not contact him – raised the alarm and contacted police.

He was initially treated as a missing person.

Later that morning friends and family members went to the shop to try and trace his movements and spoke to Muhammad, who reiterated his earlier concocted story.

Muhammad then left the shop and, no doubt fearing that his story would soon be picked apart, travelled to Victoria Coach Station and fled on a coach to Glasgow.