Drunk who murdered neighbour jailed for 23 years

Forty Hill attack last September described as “completely mindless and unprovoked”

Holbrook Close, where Abdi Ibrahim Osman (inset, left) stabbed Nahid Ahmed (inset, right) to death, close to Purcell House where they both lived
Holbrook Close, where Abdi Osman (inset, left) stabbed Nahid Ahmed (inset, right) to death, close to Purcell House (credit Google Street View)

A drunk man who murdered a neighbour in a random knife attack has been sentenced to more than 23 years in jail.

Abdi Osman, aged 43, fatally stabbed 26-year-old Nahid Ahmed outside a Forty Hill tower block while the victim was on the phone to his girlfriend.

Osman pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey to murder and possession of a knife and was sentenced yesterday to 23-and-a-half-years in jail. He had moved into Purcell House in Holbrook Close in January 2020 while still on licence for offences of attempted robbery and grievous bodily harm, imposed in 2016.

Late in the evening of Saturday 12th September and into the early hours of Sunday morning a number of visitors and residents noticed Abdi Osman outside the block, appearing to be drunk, and was seen stumbling around and shouting.

Nahid had spent the day with his family. He had taken his mother and sister out shopping and to visit relatives. After returning late and carrying the shopping inside he had returned to sit in his car while he spoke to his friends on his mobile.

A neighbour saw Osman kick Nahid’s BMW. Nahid got out and pushed Osman backwards and he fell to the floor. The victim then got back into his car and closed the door. Shortly after another neighbour had tried to pick up Osman from the ground, but he was too drunk to stand. Ten minutes later he heard shouting with the defendant, abusing Nahid.

The stabbing took place as Nahid was speaking to his girlfriend in the car on the phone. She heard a drunk man and voices in the background. While she was chatting, she suddenly heard his car door opening and then all she could hear was her boyfriend wheezing. She kept calling his name, but he did not answer.

The neighbour who had tried to help the defendant earlier looked over the balcony and saw Nahid lying flat on his back on the floor next to the open door of his car. He could hear that he was breathing strangely and called an ambulance.

Paramedics arrived, but the victim was not breathing. It’s thought he was in cardiac arrest and despite CPR, Nahid was pronounced dead at 1.25am. The post-mortem later revealed cause of death as a single stab wound to the right side of the chest.

When officers arrived on the scene they found blood on the lift buttons at Purcell House. The blood was later found to be Nahid’s, while fingerprints in the blood were confirmed as Osman’s. CCTV footage subsequently showed Osman – visibly unsteady on his feet – entering the block and then the lift in Purcell House.

Officers knocked on Osman’s door that night and when he opened it, his hands were covered in blood. He was arrested and a search of his flat discovered a blood-stained knife found underneath his bed. While under arrest, he was captured on the officer’s body-worn camera saying “is he dead?” and claiming he had been attacked.

Rushanara Ahmed, Nahid’s mother, said: My son Nahid was just 26-years-old when he was stolen from me. For 17 of those years, we had been a team, just him and me. He was, and still is, my whole world.

“Nahid had a very strong sense of family. He loved spending time with his grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins. Family was always his priority and he never failed to step up, if help was needed within his family, or with his many friends or in the local community. He was an excellent student, understanding from a young age that to get anywhere in life, you need to work hard, and he did just that.

“Nahid was a good person, very well-liked and respected, hard-working, a law-abiding good citizen, devoted to his family, and he was very caring and kind. I could not have been prouder of the child he was, or of the adult he became.

I am left without my son. I grieve for him every minute of every day. My life is over but continues on autopilot.”

Detective Chief Inspector Katherine Goodwin, who led the investigation, said: “This was a completely mindless and unprovoked attack on a young man, who was simply sitting in his car outside of his home, when the defendant decided to attack him.

“The defendant’s actions were callous and heartless and this shows how easily using a knife can end someone’s life. The impact on Nahid’s family and friends has been devastating and while no sentence will ever be enough to bring Nahid back, I hope [it] will help them in some way with their grieving.”