London teen admits stabbing Afghan refugee on same day he was sentenced for carrying knife

Hazrat Wali, 18, died in hospital after being knifed in Twickenham in October 2021

Hazrat Wali was stabbed to death on a playing field in south-west London. PA
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A teenager in the UK has admitted stabbing an Afghan refugee on the same day he was sentenced to a youth rehabilitation order for carrying a knife.

Hazrat Wali, 18, died in hospital after being knifed in Craneford Way Playing Fields, in Twickenham, south-west London, on the afternoon of October 12 2021.

Players taking part in a rugby match between Richmond School and Hampton School saw some of the attack, jurors hearing the case at the Old Bailey were told.

On Wednesday, jurors were told a 17-year-old boy accused of murdering Mr Wali was caught with a black knife at Southside shopping centre in Wandsworth on August 5, 2021.

He pleaded guilty and was sentenced at Wimbledon Magistrates' Court on the morning of October 12 to a youth rehabilitation order.

Giving evidence with the assistance of an intermediary, the youth said he accepts stabbing Mr Wali later that day but denies intending to kill him or cause him serious harm.

Asked why he took out the knife, he said he and Mr Wali were "pushing each other" and he wanted to be left alone.

He became scared when Mr Wali called someone for "back-up", telling someone on the phone to "come quick", the defendant said.

The defendant, who was 16 at the time, and cannot be named because of his age, added: "I thought he had something on him, a knife."

Garry Green KC, defending, said: "The jury know that you have carried a knife in the past. Do you accept that is true?"

The defendant agreed and said it was "for my own protection".

He told jurors he had been attacked in the past, as had a cousin and friend.

The court was shown a photograph of the defendant's hand, which needed stitches after he was attacked with a knife in New Cross in 2020.

The defendant said he found out via Snapchat that a friend, Louis Johnson, had been stabbed to death.

He said his mother had warned him to "watch your back".

In November 2020, some older boys put pressure on him to go to Wiltshire to sell drugs at a house, jurors were told.

After agreeing to go, he was missing from home for a few days before calling his mother, who went to fetch him.

He told jurors the older boys were "unhappy" and threatened him.

Mr Green asked: "So, generally, come October 2021, how did you feel in yourself when you were walking around the street?"

The defendant replied: "I felt unsafe some of the time."

Mr Green said: "Is that why you had a knife on you on October 12?"

The youth, who was enrolled in college at the time, replied: "Yes."

Previously, the court was told Mr Wali was sitting in the park with a female friend when they were approached by the defendant and five other teenagers.

One of the girls in the group said the pair looked "nice together", leading to the defendant allegedly swearing at Mr Wali.

Mr Wali got to his feet and approached the defendant, jurors heard.

Words were exchanged and there was pushing before the defendant took out a knife and stabbed Mr Wali in the side.

The knife went 10cm into Mr Wali's liver, causing "massive and fatal blood loss", the court was told.

Emergency services attended but Mr Wali, of Notting Hill, west London, died about an hour later.

Mr Wali left Afghanistan with his twin brother at the age of 12. His brother returned to Afghanistan but he was reportedly living with a foster family in London.

He was studying construction with the intention of returning to Afghanistan to help rebuild the country, his family said.

The defendant denies murder. The trial continues.

Updated: January 18, 2023, 3:04 PM