Azaan Kaleem's killers named as CCTV of his murder is released a year after the attack in Luton

CCTV footage of the 22-second attack which killed a Luton teenager has been released to coincide with the first anniversary of his death.

Monday, 25th March 2019, 10:34 am
Updated Monday, 25th March 2019, 12:31 pm
Azaam Kaleem

Two of his killers can now also be named, after reporting restrictions that were put in place due to another trial were lifted.

Rashaan Ellis, 19, of Derwent Road, Luton, was sentenced in December 2018 to life imprisonment, with a minimum term of 18 years, for murder.

He was also sentenced to a further two years' imprisonment, to run concurrently, for possession of a bladed article.

Azaam Kaleem

Callum Smith, 19, of Cowridge Crescent, Luton, was sentenced to life imprisonment, and must serve a minimum of 18 years, for murder.

The case is being featured on tonight's (Monday) episode of 24 Hours in Police Custody.

Azaan was 18 when he was stabbed in Hartsfield Road, Luton, on Thursday, March 22, 2018. He was treated by emergency services at the scene, but succumbed to his injuries in hospital two days later.

He died from the stab wounds he received after a group of teenagers rounded on him while he was walking with his girlfriend and friend after they had left a funeral.

Callum Smith

He did not retaliate throughout the 22-second attack, despite being stabbed multiple times and hit with what experts believe to be a bladed knuckle duster.

Following an investigation by the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit, four teenagers were jailed for 63 years for their involvement in his death. As well as Ellis and Smith, two others were named when they were sentenced in December.

Harrison Searle, 18, of Derwent Road, Luton, who is thought to have delivered the final blow to Azaan, was convicted of murder and sentenced to life with a minimum term of 16 years.

Reece Bliss-McGrath, 20, of Exton Avenue, Luton, was found not guilty of murder but convicted of manslaughter, and was sentenced to 11 years - half to be served in custody and half on licence.

Rashaan Ellis

Roseann Taylor, Azaan’s mum, said: “I wanted this CCTV to be released so it is clear to everyone that Azaan was not the aggressor.

"He was set upon by four people, who acted like a pack of animals and took his life from him in under half a minute. During the horrific attack, he didn’t retaliate.

“Everything happened so quickly that even those who were with him couldn’t do anything to help, other than call for the emergency services.

"I can’t imagine what it must have been like to be there, see this happen and to be unable to stop it. Azaan is missed every day by everyone who knew him, and I know that if anyone could have done anything to help him at the time, they would have done.

“It’s important to me that people watch this footage and realise how quickly a situation can escalate, as well as realising the consequences where weapons are involved.

"So many people have been impacted by what happened to Azaan, and I hope that nobody else has to go through what we have been through.”

Detective Superintendent Liz Mead, Head of Crime at Bedfordshire Police, said: “This was a senseless act which took Azaan’s life. He’ll now never be able to fulfil his potential, and a mother has lost her only son because of the despicable actions of four individuals.

“Throughout this ordeal, Roseann has remained dignified, despite the pain that she has been caused and the complete lack of respect shown by some of the boys in court.

“There are no words that will ever be able to convey the seriousness of this incident, and of the grief it caused.

"What we can see from the CCTV is just how quickly it takes for someone’s life to change. In 22 seconds, Azaan’s mother lost her son, his girlfriend lost her boyfriend and his friends will never be able to see him again.”

Also featured in tonight’s episode is a knife fight that took place in The Mall, Luton, in January last year. Three people were jailed after the incident.