Luton father pays tribute to son as his killer is jailed

'Our boy was too good to be true'

Tuesday, 30th November 2021, 4:27 pm
Updated Tuesday, 30th November 2021, 4:28 pm
Humza Hussain

The teenage killer of a 16-year-old boy described as “too good to be true” by his father has been jailed for at least 16 years.

Humza Hussain was stabbed three times in the chest by Ibrahim Khan, also 16, during the attack in Stoneygate Road, Luton in June.

Months earlier Khan and Humza had had a fight in which Khan suffered a bloody nose.

Prosecutors successfully argued that Khan had then been determined to exact revenge on Humza, and instigated the tragic events that unfolded this summer.

Today (Tuesday) at Luton Crown Court, Mr Justice Goss lifted reporting restrictions and allowed Khan, of Atherstone Road, Luton, to be publicly identified, given the gravity of his offence.

Khan will serve a life sentence and spend a minimum of 16 years behind bars.

In a victim impact statement read out in court, Humza’s father Ahsim Hussain highlighted the “devastating” impact his son’s death had had on his whole family.

“We still can’t come to terms with the fact that our son has gone and won’t be coming back,” he said.

“It doesn’t feel real it is like a nightmare that doesn’t end. We are in a lot of pain.

“Humza was our world, he wasn’t your average child he was special, he had all the qualities, he was too good to be true.”

Mr Hussain highlighted how Humza had also successfully passed GCSE exams he sat in May, getting B grades in double English, double Science and Maths. He died before he received his results.

The fatal attack happened on 8 June, and began when Khan attempted to intimidate the younger brother of one of Humza’s friends in the Challney area of Luton.

The brother said he had seen Khan concealing a knife in his trousers.

Humza and the older brother then went to confront Khan, arriving at the scene on bikes just after 3.45pm.

Humza was armed with a metal chisel from his father’s shed, while the other boy was armed with a hammer.

Khan and the older brother confronted one another and eventually squared up to each other, each showing the other the weapons concealed in their waistbands.

They continued to shout at each other while independent witnesses attempted to intervene.

However, the violence escalated when the older brother threw something at Khan, and the pair began lunging at each other.

Humza grabbed Khan from behind to restrain him, but Khan managed to break free and then lunged at Humza, stabbing him multiple times.

The court heard the knife used by Khan was “large and savage-looking”. One of the stab wounds almost passed all the way through Humza’s body.

Both Hussain and the older brother were covered in blood. Khan put the knife back in his waistband before riding off on his bike, though he was arrested nearby shortly afterwards.

Back in Stoneygate Road, Humza received medical treatment at the scene before being taken to hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly after 6pm that day.

Khan pleaded not guilty to murder and possession of a knife in a public place.

However, yesterday (Monday) the jury found him guilty by unanimous verdict of both offences. They took less than two hours to reach their verdict.

Aggravating factors in the case included that Khan took a large weapon to the scene, engineered the confrontation and attempted to hide and destroy evidence.

The fact the fatal attack happened in a public place was also an aggravating factor.

Khan will not face any additional penalty for the weapons offence and will not be eligible to apply for parole until he has served all of his sentence.

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 happened, 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.”

Detective Inspector Iain MacPherson, from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit, which led the investigation, said: “This tragic and needless killing will have caused untold trauma for everyone involved.

“Our sympathy particularly lies with Humza’s family today. His life has been cut short in truly devastating circumstances at such a tender age. It is suffering no family should ever have to go through.

“I hope they feel a sense of justice today. Our detectives have worked around the clock to get to this stage and I would like to thank each and every one of them for their work.

“I would also like to acknowledge those members of the public who went to the aid of Humza and the heroic efforts of medical professionals who attempted to save his life.”

Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner Festus Akinbusoye said: “I cannot express enough how truly sad I am for this family.

“I will continue to educate young people about the devastating effects of knife crime and I am wholly committed to this, working with partners and officers as part of my prevention agenda to tackle the root causes of serious violence rather than dealing with the aftermath.

“I hope that seeing this strong custodial sentence will make young people think twice about carrying a knife”.

Recorded incidents of serious youth violence fell by 24 per cent in Bedfordshire in the 12 months to April 2021, compared to the same timeframe to April 2019.

While the pandemic has played a big part in a drop of this scale, serious youth violence had reduced significantly year-on-year just prior to the first national lockdown

If you have information that someone carries a knife or another weapon, you can report this to police via Bedfordshire.police.uk/report

Bedfordshire’s Violence and Exploitation Reduction Unit works with young people and their families affected by things like knife crime, county lines and child criminal exploitation.

For more information or to speak to their team please visit bedsveru.org

went to the aid of Humza and the heroic efforts of medical professionals who attempted to save his life.”