A mother has today revealed her agony as her son, a 17-year-old who dreamed of being a barrister, was knifed to death after what was said to be the fourth attempt on his life.
Ayub Hassan – who had a brother, 9, and a sister, 11 – was described by his family as a ‘victim’ of gang violence since he was aged 12.
He was fatally stabbed near a Waitrose by West Kensington tube station in London at around 2pm yesterday. A local businessman said he was knifed three times in the chest.
His mother, Siraad Aden, 38, collapsed when she heard that her son had been killed in London’s fifth knife murder in just seven days.
Later she told The Standard through tears at the family home on the White City estate in nearby Shepherd’s Bush: ‘He wasn’t only a son, he was my best friend. We want justice.’
After laying flowers at the scene, family friend Amina Osman revealed the fatal attack was ‘the fourth attempt on his life’, having previously been found unconscious in a park, run over and stabbed on another occasion.
She added: ‘He had ambitions, he was looking forward to being a barrister. He was looking forward to being a grown-up man. He was good with his words, he was very kind and handsome.’
Three men, aged 18, 17 and 15 were this morning arrested on suspicion of murder, police said today. Another teenager, aged 15, was arrested later today.
The part of west London where the murder happened has been plagued with gang activity in recent years.
Groups with names such as 12 World regularly taunt each other with drill music videos and have regularly been involved in fights with their rivals.
The number of fatal stabbings in London now stands at six in just seven days, while nationally 26 people have died this year.
The epidemic has sparked a frenzied political debate, with Chancellor Philip Hammond facing criticism yesterday for ignoring police demands to reverse cuts imposed under austerity measures and refocus their resources instead.
Relatives and friends of Ayub’s family were seen talking to detectives at the murder scene earlier today
Ayub Hassan (pictured left, in an undated image taken in hospital, and right) was fatally stabbed near a Waitrose by West Kensington tube station in London at around 2pm yesterday
An aunt, who did not want to be named, said the teenager was studying at Hammersmith College.
Forensic officers were searching drains near the crime scene last night and recovered what appeared to be a knife.
Mr Hassan was brutally knifed in the chest at around 2.15pm yesterday. An air ambulance took him to hospital from where he was stabbed in Lanfrey Place but he died a short time later.
Yousef Bahadooy, who runs a launderette in West Kensington, said he saw a group of five boys shouting and arguing outside his shop while he was ironing at the window on Thursday afternoon.
He recognised the group who he said he regularly saw ‘hanging out together’ on the high street, and claimed Ayub was murdered by his friend.
Mr Bahadooy said: ‘They were his friends and cousins – there were about five of them, all boys, aged around 16 to 19. They were talking outside the shop at first, and then they started shouting.
‘One of the boys pushed Ayub against the window while I was in the shop doing the ironing.
‘They walked towards the Waitrose still shouting at around 2pm. Then, 10 minutes later, somebody called me and said ‘somebody has been stabbed’.’
Three men, aged 18, 17 and 15 have been arrested on suspicion of murder, police said today. Another teenager, 15, was arrested later today. Pictured: The road in West Kensington today where Mr Hassan was stabbed
Family friend Amina Osman arrives today to lay flowers near the police cordon on Lanfrey Place where Mr Hassan died yesterday
Mrs Osman adds to the bouquets of flowers that are piling up in Lanfrey Place in memory of Mr Hassan, who she said was ‘ambitious and handsome’
A Little Waitrose store is located just behind the police cordon, where a forensic tent remained in place today
The epidemic of 26 knife murders in 2019 has sparked a frenzied political debate, with Chancellor Philip Hammond facing criticism yesterday for ignoring police demands to reverse cuts imposed under austerity measures
Mr Bahadooy said he rushed over to the victim. ‘He was on the floor and he had been stabbed in the chest three times,’ he said. There was a lot of blood everywhere.
‘My friend called two local doctors who came over and pumped his chest. Two of his friends had ran away by the time I got there, then when police arrived the other two ran away.’
Another local shop worker, who runs an Internet cafe on the high street, also said he saw Ayub walking towards the Waitrose with friends before he was stabbed.
The 32-year-old, from Sudbury in Suffolk, said: ‘I knew them because they would come in here and use the internet sometimes. ‘The boy was with four other teenagers; we often see them around here.
‘I saw them walk over to Waitrose and then the police car came and closed all the roads and some of them ran back past the window.
‘I came out and all the people were rushing towards him – there were crowds of people and nobody could get through.’
Neighbour Rosie Hayes was one of the first people to arrive after the attack, and said there had been no noise or disturbance beforehand.
‘I was in my house and my cousin was leaving, and we noticed there was a group of four guys and they were maybe drunk – there was something going on but we didn’t understand anyone was injured at that stage,’ she said.
Mr Hassan (pictured in an undated image) hoped to go into a career in law, according to his family
‘She left [my cousin] and they started calling for help… so then my neighbour and I have both came out of our houses at the same time and the group asked us for help.
‘So we went over to assist… we stayed with them until a wonderful nurse turned up and she was amazing at taking control of the situation until the paramedics arrived.’
Mrs Hayes said there were three boys with the victim who were in their late teens.
‘They were upset and maybe a little bit aggressive too,’ Mrs Hayes added. ‘There was obviously a bit of an argument going on maybe. They were out of their depth, they didn’t know how to deal with the situation.’
She said the boy who had been stabbed was still conscious, adding: ‘We just did everything we could to make him comfortable. So another neighbour was wonderful and went and got a pillow for his head, I’d already got a towel… we just tried to keep him warm and give the nurse assistance.’
Mrs Hayes said it looked like the boy had been stabbed in the chest.
She added: ‘It is quite shocking, we live on a cul de sac and these things happen all over London now – when is it going to stop? There should be more respect for life.’
Chief Superintendent Rob Jones, from the Metropolitan Police, said: ‘I understand the devastating effect that this incident will have not only on the victim’s loved ones, but also on the wider community.
‘Our thoughts are with the victim’s family at this sad time. There will be a heightened visible police presence in the area and local officers will also be supported by central specialist units to prevent any potential further incidents.’
A spokeswoman for West London College said: “We are deeply saddened by the untimely death of former student, Ayub Hassan.
“Understandably, this is a very difficult time for students and staff and we are continuing to offer them advice and support.
“We wish to convey our heartfelt condolences to his family and many friends as they deal with the tragic loss of a loved one. Our thoughts are with them.”
Woman pay their respects to Mr Hassan in West Kensington today. Chief Superintendent Rob Jones said: ‘I understand the devastating effect that this incident will have not only on the victim’s loved ones, but also on the wider community’
Police activity this morning in Lanfrey Place. Police chiefs have asked for more resources to deal with the wave of violence
An officer walks past a forensic tent over the spot where Mr Hassan was stabbed as forensic specialists examine the scene today
Flowers left today in Lanfrey Place in West Kensington in memory of Mr Hassan, whose family called him ‘a wonderful boy’
Scotland Yard also revealed yesterday that a 37-year-old man attacked in Soho on Sunday morning had died of his stab wounds.
He died on Wednesday evening following the attack in Romilly Street in London’s West End at around 6am on Sunday.
Joe Gynane, 34, of no fixed address, has been charged with attempted murder in relation to the attack.
It brings the total to five stabbing victims in London in the space of a week, after teenager Jodie Chesney, Spanish national David Martinez and 50-year-old Elize Stevens were knifed to death in the last seven days.
Bloodshed Britain: The 24 murders in London so far this year
January 1: Charlotte Huggins, 33, is believed to have been the first homicide victim in London in 2019. She was stabbed in Camberwell, south-east London, in the early hours of New Year’s Day.
January 1: Later that day, security guard Tudor Simionov, also 33, was stabbed to death at about 5.30am as he tried to prevent gatecrashers storming a private party in Park Lane.
January 4: Simbiso Aretha Moula, 39, was found murdered in her home in Rainham, east London. Her husband, Garikayi Moula, was found hanged. Police were not seeking anyone else in connection with the murder.
January 5: Sarah Ashraf, 35, was found dead in a home in the Isle of Dogs, east London. A 32-year-old man was charged with murder.
January 8: Jaden Moodie, 14, was knocked off a moped and stabbed to death in Leyton, east London.
January 11: Asma Begum, 31, was found with a neck injury in a property City Island Way, Tower Hamlets. A 46-year-old man was charged with murder.
January 27: Kamil Malysz, 34, was found stabbed to death in a shared house in Acton, west London.
January 29: Nedim Bilgin, 17, was the victim of a knife attack in Caledonian Road, Islington, north London.
February 3: A 46-year-old man was found dead at a medical facility in Highgate, north London. A 21-year-old was charged with murder.
February 5: Lejean Richards, 19, was fatally stabbed in Battersea.
February 10: A man, believed to be in his 30s, was found fatally stabbed in East Dulwich, south-east London.
February 18: Bright Akinleye dies after walking into a hotel reception in Camden with stab wounds.
February 19: Brian Wieland, 69, found dead with multiple head injuries at his home in Chingford, east London.
February 21: Glendon Spence, 23, was killed outside a youth club in Brixton, south London. Police have charged two 17-year-olds with murder.
February 22: Kamali Gabbidon-Lynck, 19, was murdered in Wood Green, Haringey. Police said that he and a another man, aged 20, were both found with stab wounds.
February 25: Spaniard David Lopez-Fernandez, 38, was pronounced dead after being found with stab wounds at an address in Globe Road in Tower Hamlets, east London. A 36-year-old man was charged with murder.
February 26: Che Morrison, 20, died after being stabbed to death outside Ilford station in east London.
March 1: Girl scout Jodie Chesney, 17, was stabbed to death in a Romford park.
March 2: A 50-year-old was found dead with fatal knife injuries at a property in Hendon, north-west London. A 54-year-old man was arrested at the scene.
March 2: A baby girl, aged three months, was found dead at a residential address in Croydon. A 40-year-old woman has been charged with murder.
March 6: Spanish victim David Martinez, 26, was stabbed to death in Leyton.
March 6: A 37-year-old man stabbed in Soho three days earlier died in hospital.
March 6: Laureline Garcia-Bertaux, 34, was found buried in a shallow grave near her home in Kew.
March 7: Ayub Hassan was fatally stabbed in the chest near West Kensington Underground station.
Girl scout Ms Chesney, 17, was stabbed to death while playing music with friends in a Romford park on Friday night.
A man was arrested on suspicion of murder on Tuesday and another today.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said he was ‘filled with anger’ and ‘devastated’ by the killing of Ms Chesney.
‘My thoughts are with her loved ones,’ he said.
‘It fills me with anger that violent criminals are targeting young Londoners with their whole lives before them. I encourage anyone with information to contact the police.’
On Saturday, 17-year-old Yousef Makki died after a knife attack in the village of Hale Barns, Greater Manchester.
Another 17-year-old has been charged with his murder.
Spanish national David Martinez was stabbed to death after he was chased in Leyton, east London, on Wednesday.
In addition the body of French woman Laureline Garcia-Bertaux, 34, was discovered in a shallow grave near her home in west London late on Wednesday night.
A total of 24 murder probes have now been launched in London this year, including 12 in the last 17 days.
Following the Soho stabbing a murder investigation has now commenced which is being led by Detective Chief Inspector Katherine Goodwin.
A 34-year-old man was charged on Monday, March 4 with two counts of attempted murder, in relation to this incident along with another stabbing on the same day, of a teenager which occurred in University Street, WC1.
The charge for attempted murder willl be subject to a review by the CPS.
A 41-year-old woman who was arrested remains released under investigation.
Later the same morning police were called to a stabbing on University Street in Camden, where a 16-year-old boy was taken to hospital with ‘life-threatening’ injuries.
On Tuesday Che Morrison was knifed after a fight broke out just before 8.50pm. Witnesses said he was ‘slashed in the face’ during the attack.
Nineteen-year-old Kamali Gabbidon-Lynck was also fatally stabbed by a gang riding bikes in Wood Green, north London, last week.
He was chased into a hair salon by men armed with a firearm, knives and a samurai sword on February 22 and slaughtered in front of children.
A day earlier, a 23-year-old man – Glendon Spence – was stabbed to death in Brixton, south London, at a youth club which had children as young as seven inside.
Due to the spate of violence, Met officers are out in force carrying out a series of stop and searches around the capital yesterday.
The spate of violence has sparked a renewed political focus on knife crime.
Richard Cooke, chairman of the West Midlands Police Federation, has called for emergency powers bolstering officers’ stop-and-search abilities to be extended across the country.
He backs the use of an order known as section 60, which allows police officers to search suspects without needing ‘reasonable grounds’.
The controversial powers have been introduced by West Midlands Police after three teenagers died in just 11 days. Officers say they have taken dozens of blades off the streets since the order was enforced last week.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said today stop and search was a vital tool ‘when used properly’ and backed up by prior intelligence.
It jarred with comments made during his election campaign in 2015, when he said he would do ‘everything in my power’ to cut down on the tactic because of its negative impact on community relations.
Yesterday, Mr Khan was criticised after he rolled his eyes and said ‘I’ve done all I can’ as he was grilled over his failure to tackle London’s knife crime epidemic – four years after promising to do ‘everything in my power’ to cut stop and search.
The Mayor of London made the vow in 2015 while still on the campaign trail, claiming the tactic was ‘overused’ and undermined public confidence in the police.
In his Sky News interview yesterday, Mr Khan said he had done ‘as much as I am allowed to do under the law’ to curb knife crime by raising council tax three years in a row and using money from business rates to invest in policing and youth services.
Instead, he insisted cuts in central government funding had left him hamstrung. ‘The investment we are putting in doesn’t fill the massive hole left by the Government,’ he said in an interview with Sky News. Around 75 percent of his police budget comes from central government, with the rest coming from council tax and business rates.
At this point Sky’s Sarah-Jane Mee interrupted, saying: ‘You keep shifting it onto central government.’ Mr Khan then rolled his eyes in frustration, before the presenter asked why he was not ‘taking personal responsibility’ for the issue.
Asked what he was doing to combat the epidemic, Mr Khan said: ‘We are doing a number of things, City Hall is funding a violent crime task force; 300 officers who are targeting high knife crime areas.
‘Over the course of the first eight months, they’ve made over 3,000 arrests leading to charges and taken more than 1,000 knifes and offensive weapons off the streets.
‘The point I make is the causes of the increase in violent crime are complex, deep-seated problems.
‘I’m not excusing criminality, poverty, social alienation, inequality, mental health issues, but these are made far worse by the massive cuts we’ve had in police numbers and preventative services.
‘That is why we are lobbying the Prime Minister to step up and take a lead on this issue.’
Police recover what appears to be a knife after searching a drain near Lanfrey Place yesterday. It is not known if the knife in the picture was connected to the attack
A forensic officer walks towards a van as police examine the crime scene in West Kensington yesterday
Police search a drain near to Lanfrey Place yesterday, most likely searching for the discarded knife
An aerial view of the area in West Kensington yesterday where Mr Hassan was stabbed shortly after 2pm before dying in hospital
Bloodied garments are seen yesterday as forensic teams work at the scene of a stabbing in West Kensington
Composite picture of some of the people who have lost their lives to knife crime this year. Top row, from left: Tudor Simionov, Jaden Moodie, Nedim Bilgin, Lejean Richards, Dennis Anderson. Middle row, from left: Patrick Hill, Sidali Mohamed, Bright Akinleye, Abdullah Muhammad, Glendon Spence. Bottom row, from left: Kamali Gabbidon-Lynck, Hazrat Umar, Che Morrison, Jodie Chesney, Yousef Ghaleb Makki
Mr Khan also faced criticism for jetting off on holiday with his wife to Marrakech on Saturday, hours after the unprovoked murder of 17-year-old girl scout Jodie Chesney – and fatal stabbing of A* student Yousef Makki – shocked Britain.
It sparked a huge debate on how to tackle the knife crisis gripping the UK’s streets, with Theresa May, Sajid Javid and police chiefs all weighing in on the ‘national emergency’.
Bring back stop-and-search to stop bloodshed across Britain, demands police leader
Stop-and-search powers must be reintroduced in Britain to combat the country’s stabbing crisis, a senior police officer has claimed.
Richard Cooke, chairman of the West Midlands Police Federation, has called for emergency section 60 powers to be rolled out across the country.
He said that the use of the temporary order, which allows police officers to search suspects without needing ‘reasonable grounds’, would help stem the bloodshed.
The controversial powers have been introduced by West Midlands Police after three teenagers died in just 11 days.
The force says that it has taken dozens of blades off the streets since the order was enforced last week.
Mr Javid is calling for more money to tackle knife crime, while Mrs May and Met Commissioner Cressida Dick recently clashed over whether a reduction in officer numbers had fuelled the problem.
Meanwhile, Chancellor Philip Hammond has resisted calls for more funding by saying police should divert the resources they already had to the issue.
Mr Hammond said police forces need to move officers off ‘lower priority’ crime and onto knife violence.
He also suggested there would be more money for public services if MPs voted for the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal.
Another area of debate has been around school exclusions, after Mr Khan joined six police and crime commissioners who wrote to the Prime Minister suggesting a ‘broken’ system was fuelling the violence.
The letter said that many of those committing offences have been excluded from school, and called for an end to unofficial ‘off-rolling’ – the practice of removing difficult pupils from registers to boost average exam results.
Figures show that permanent exclusions in England increased by 56% between 2013-14 and 2016-17.
There was a 40% rise in London and 62% rise in the West Midlands during that period, according to Department for Education data.
But Ofsted head Amanda Spielman said that it is the problems which lead to a pupil’s expulsion – rather than the decision to exclude them from school – which is more likely to explain later violence.
‘I don’t believe that exclusions are normally likely to be the root cause,’ Ms Spielman told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
‘What seems more likely is that they are symptoms of the same underlying problems. When we look at permanent exclusions we find that most are the culmination of a long series of behaviour problems where schools have put great effort into helping children overcome their problems.’
Neighbour Rosie Hayes was one of the first people to arrive after the attack, and said there had been no noise or disturbance beforehand. Pictured: Police in the area yesterday
Mrs Hayes said there were three boys with the victim who were in their late teens. Police are seen at the scene yesterday
Forensics officers were seen outside the Coach and Horses pub in the Soho area of London after the stabbing on Sunday
Jodie Chesney (left) was stabbed in London on Friday while Yousef Makki (right) died after a knife attack in Hale Barns
Laureline Garcia-Bertaux (left) was found in a shallow grave while David Martinez (right) was stabbed to death after he was chased in Leyton
Any witnesses or anyone with any information is asked to call police on 101 or contact via Twitter @MetCC quoting CAD 4136/07MAR.
To give information anonymously contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.org.
Sorry we are not currently accepting comments on this article.