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Father’s horror as son sees teen from Queen’s Park stabbed to death in Marylebone

PUBLISHED: 11:20 15 January 2015 | UPDATED: 15:19 16 January 2015

Stabbed to death: Bilal Mirza

Stabbed to death: Bilal Mirza

Archant

A shocked father has told how his 12-year-old son looked on in horror as a stabbed teenager lay bleeding to death in the street on Thursday night.

A flower tribute left in memory of Bilal Mirza, on the corner of Salisbury Street and Church Street, Lisson Grove. Picture: Polly HancockA flower tribute left in memory of Bilal Mirza, on the corner of Salisbury Street and Church Street, Lisson Grove. Picture: Polly Hancock

Mohammed el Kharki and his son watched in disbelief as 18-year-old Bilal Mirza, from Queen’s Park, “flopped to the ground” while his friends screamed for help in Salisbury Street, Lisson Grove.

Mr el Kharki, who lives in neighbouring Whitehaven Street, was walking home from Cricklewood mosque with his son at around 10.50pm on Thursday evening when he came across the scene.

“He was standing and then he flopped to the ground and then he was lying on the ground with his friends screaming for help and to get an ambulance,” said Mr el Kharki, who owns the Grill Island kebab shop in Church Street, close to where the incident occurred.

“His blood was all over the pavement, he lost all of it.”

The scene of the stabbing in Salisbury Street, just yards from King Solomon Academy. Picture: Google StreetViewThe scene of the stabbing in Salisbury Street, just yards from King Solomon Academy. Picture: Google StreetView

Mr el Kharki, who waited with his son until police and paramedics arrived, added: “My son is shocked and he can’t forget what happened; I wish it hadn’t happened.”

Bilal, a devout Muslim and an IT student at City of Westminster college, was walking home having had dinner at his grandmother’s house in Church Street when he was stabbed in the thigh.

He was rushed to St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington but was pronounced dead at 11:24 pm.

Police are appealing for witnesses to the stabbing and detectives returned to the scene, joined by the Church Street Safer Neighbourhoods team, on Tuesday night in a bid to find more witnesses and anyone else with information.

Mr el Kharki, who moved to the Lisson Grove area in 2005 with his wife and three children, says he told his son that he had witnessed first-hand why it was so important to steer clear of gang-related violence.

He added that he fears for the safety of his children and that youth and gang-related violence in the area had got so bad that he would move his family out if he had the chance.

“I really hope it gets safer,” he said.

Metropolitan Police figures reveal violent crime has risen by 22 per cent in Westminster in the past year.

Floral tributes were left in Salisbury Street and friends and the community have taken to social media to pay tribute to Bilal, with one user posting “R.I.P Bilal Mirza - no doubt heaven holds better things for you in comparison to this world.”

A statement from Bilal’s college described him as a “polite, intelligent and quiet student,” adding: “Bilal particularly enjoyed games design and had the goal of becoming a games designer. His classmates are shocked and dismayed at the loss of a friend and fellow student.

“It has been hard to hear of his untimely death and this is a difficult time for all of us as we mourn the loss of someone so young and full of potential.”

A 16-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Saturday charged with murder and possession of an offensive weapon in public - a multi-tool knife. His mother wept in court as the charges against her son were read out.

He has since appeared at the Old Bailey and been remanded in custody until March 31. No pleas have been entered.


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