Two former child refugees subjected to a ‘abhorrent’ stabbing attack in Notting Hill finally found justice when their three attackers were jailed last week.
The victims, both 24-year-old men, suffered ‘senseless violence’ when they were stabbed multiple times in a planned robbery in a home on Kensington Church Street on 26 January.
The first man was stabbed 30 times and his friend was bottled and stabbed ten times in the face, the severity of the attack left the pair unconscious and fighting for their lives.
Brothers Ahmed Hajila, from Notting Hill, and Aymen Hajila, from Dagenham, and Rehan Ullah, 18, of White City Close, Shepherd’s Bush, were all sentenced last Friday at Isleworth Crown Court.
In his victim impact statement, the first victim, a former child refugee said: “Those few hours where my life almost ended, it was changed forever. In terms of what happened to me it was the most terrifying thing I had experienced, including things I had seen as a child in Somalia.
“At times I wished I had died because I felt like so much of my life had gone. It took all of my strength to face up to court. I suffered intimidation, people tried to stop me giving evidence, but I never once considered giving up.”
The second victim, originally from Eritrea, who witnessed his pastor father being killed in front of him when he was a young boy, said: “I still have the scars and have to look at myself every day in the mirror and be reminded of what they did to me.
“I used to be confident but now I always wear a hat, or sunglasses to hide my face and create a barrier. The images of what happened are so vivid that I get nightmares where the incident replays in my head. I don’t think that experience will ever leave me.”
The court heard how a drinking session with the group turned sour and the three attackers planned their robbery which escalated into extreme violence.
Ahmed Hajila, 20, received a life sentence for attempted murder against the first victim, who he knifed 30 times in a frenzied attack, and who desperately tried to defend himself by wrapping a duvet around his body.
He also stabbed the second victim in the head and face ten times, while his accomplices Aymen and Ullah attacked the man with bottles, injuring his eyes sockets, cheeks and hands as he tried to protect himself.
The trio of thugs left the victims bloodied and unconscious and ran off with their belongings, their bloodstained clothing and stolen property later linked them to the crime.
One of the men regained consciousness and managed to call for help, emergency services were able to reach his friend in time to treat his potentially life threatening injuries.
Detective Superintendent Raffaele D’Orsi, from Kensington and Chelsea, said: “The judge described this attack as gratuitous, excessive and planned and we are pleased that these three men have been imprisoned for this terrible attack of senseless violence on two innocent victims, the only motive being the theft of low value property. Nothing can justify such an abhorrent act.
“Both victims were lucky to survive thanks to the actions of the first officer on the scene, PC Luke Fraser, and the attentions of the ambulance crew.
“The victims both originally fled to England to escape violence in war-torn countries, and I would like to pay tribute to their continued bravery.
“I would also like to echo the judge’s praise for the work of the proactive team at Kensington and Chelsea borough when he commented on how this was a meticulous, exhaustive, and complicated investigation, very well presented at trial, and in particular he singled out the work of DC Dan Mulleri.”
Lead attacker Ahmed Hajila was also given two years for possession with intent to supply heroin and found guilty of one count of GBH and one of conspiracy to rob, he will not be eligible for parole for at least ten years.
Aymen Hajila, 18, was found not guilty of attempted murder but was jailed for five years for his part in the brutal attack.
Ullah was given eight years for one count of GBH with intent against the first victim having been found not guilty of the attempted murder. He was also given six years’ concurrent imprisonment for one count of conspiracy to rob.