A teenage boy was given a life sentence on Tuesday November 30, 2021, for the knife murder of 16-year-old Humza Hussain outside a school in Luton.
Ibrahim Khan, also 16, was told by the judge, Mr Justice Goss, that he must serve a minimum of 16 years before he can be considered for parole.
During the trial at Luton Crown Court the jury heard ill-feeling had been festering for months between the pair. On June 8, this year Ibrahim Khan stabbed Humza three times in the chest outside Challney High School for Boys.
On Monday the jury took two hours and 20 minutes to find Ibrahim Khan guilty of murder and having a knife.
Humza Hussain had been stabbed three times in the chest with what the prosecutor said was a “large and savage knife” that had been hidden in the defendant’s clothing.
Prosecutor Richard Wright QC said members of the public, paramedics, teachers and staff from the school went to help following the stabbing, which happened between half past three and a quarter to four in the afternoon.
Humza was taken to hospital, where he died shortly after 6pm that evening.
Mr Wright said: “The dispute between them (Humza and Ibrahim Khan) had been festering for some time.
“There was mutual animosity that developed. It is not easily identified and may relate to insults on social media. It may have begun as a petty adolescent grudge that developed.”
The jury was played CCTV footage from the school which recorded a playground fight behind some goalposts eight months earlier on October 7, 2020.
The prosecutor said on one side was Humza Hussain and some of his friends and on the other was Ibrahim Khan. As a result the defendant suffered a bloody nose, which was filmed by Humza on his phone.
As a result Humza had been permanently excluded from the school and the defendant was moved to another school.
A month later, on November 7, Humza suffered serious arm injuries in an attack in Chaul End Park in the town. Ibrahim Khan had told another youth to “shank him.” Humza was not prepared to press charges.
“From this point on the defendant was determined to exact some sort of revenge on Humza Hussain,“ said Mr Wright.
On the day of the killing the defendant was outside Challney School for Boys on a bike where he was seen intimidating the 14-year-old brother of one of Humza’s friends.
The younger boy saw a knife in his trousers and refused to go with the defendant into an alleyway. Teachers challenged the defendant, who said he was looking for a cousin. The 14-year-old boy was taken back into school.
The boy made a call to his older brother, who turned up outside at the school with Humza.
They had both arrived on bikes. Humza brought with him a metal file from his father’s shed. The other boy had with him a small hammer that was in two parts.
Mr Wright said: “The stabbing was witnessed by many members of the public. It was a fast-moving event.“
The older brother was said to have thrown the head of the hammer at the defendant, who drew out his knife.
At that point Humza grabbed the defendant from behind in an attempt to restrain him.
“After he broke free he lunged at Humza Hussain and stabbed him repeatedly to his chest,” said Mr Wright.
The defendant was later arrested at his home in Luton.
His defence argued he had acted in self defence, but he elected not to go into the witness box to give evidence.
Sentencing him, Mr Justice Goss said: “You have shown no remorse for what you did. You ended the life of another 16 year old boy. As a result his family’s life will never be the same.”
He went on to say: “A young life was needlessly ended.
“By law the sentence must be life. It will be for the parole board to decide if you are to be released. If released you will be on licence for rest of your life.
The dead boy’s father said, in a victim personal statement, that his son’s death was “like a nightmare that does not end.”
He said the loss of his “beautiful handsome boy” meant his family had gone from “living in a world of colour to one of black and white.”
Mr Hussain said Humza had passed 5 GCSEs and had a place at college to learn plumbing. The results came out after his death.
After the hearing Bedfordshire Police Assistant Chief Constable Sharn Basra said: “This desperately sad case has seen a teenage boy lose his life and his family suffer unimaginable heartbreak.
“But the pain, loss and suffering extend to so many others. Everyone who was in the area when this incident happe, I have no doubt, will carry it with them for the rest of their lives.
“Knives ruin lives, plain and simple. What started as a grudge between teenagers has escalated into a futile waste of life.
“Research shows that just one per cent of young people carry knives, while here in Bedfordshire knife crime levels are significantly down thanks to a number of positive initiatives.
“Carrying a weapon is proven to increase the risk of getting hurt yourself. It doesn’t make you tough, it doesn’t make you hard, and people should be under no illusion about the dangers and the risks.
“The police and our partners are here to help. Please – if you have information or concerns that someone carries a knife or other weapons, please get in touch and help us stop any further violence.”