Case: The bare-knuckle fighter and the teenage gang member
Victim
Name:
Faridon Alizada
Gender:
Male
Date:
2008-01-05
Nationality:
Afghan
Weapon:
Knife
Killer
Name:
Lee James
Gender:
Male
Nationality:
British
Status: Solved
Categories: Drug Related, Teenage...
Case synopsis:

Bare-knuckle fighter Lee James stabbed teenager Faridon Alizada to death in a drug-fuelled frenzy and then claimed the victim was a terrorist.

James was high on cocaine when he murdered the 18 year-old and knifed his two 16 year-old friends at a crack den in Erith, Kent.

He burst into the flat screaming: 'You f*****g Somalians, you want to ruin my country, you want to blow up my country, you want to sell drugs in my country. This is what you get.'

The three victims, two of whom were Afghani, were all said to be affiliated with the notorious south London street gang the 'Woolwich Boys'.

They dealt drugs from a one-bedroom flat in Verona House, Larner Road, Erith, and James was a regular customer before the attack on January 5, 2008.

Faridon AlizadaJames burst into the flat swearing and demanding money, before stabbing Faridon (pictured, right), who was known as ‘Fighter’, in the chest.

One of the 16-year-old victims was Michael Adebowale, who in 2013 was convicted of the murder of soldier Lee Rigby in a terrorist attack. Adebowale told the court that he was stabbed in the back and shoulder after Lee James 'lost the plot' and started ranting about Somalians.

The second 16-year-old, Ahmed Ahmed, was stabbed in the neck, with the blade penetrating his spine, and spent months in hospital recovering.

James, who also used the last names Peacock and Cantwell, later told acquaintances that he had robbed, murdered and stabbed the occupants of the flat.

He claimed the men in the flat were supporters of Al Qaeda and that they had offered him money to act as a suicide bomber to blow up the nearby Bluewater Shopping Centre.

James later insisted he was suffering from a drug induced 'psychotic episode' and had no memory of the incident. 

Jurors at Southwark Crown Court found him guilty of murder, and he admitted two counts of wounding with intent.

Judge Anthony Pitts jailed James for life and ordered him to serve a minimum of 26 years before being considered for release by the parole board.

He said: ‘No words of the court can really help in this situation but in so far as it does, the family has the court’s condolences and I feel for them and their loss.

'Faced with Lee James, who had already stabbed the first teenager by plunging the carving knife with some force into the back of his neck- a blow which felled him almost immediately- Faridon had the extraordinary courage to attempt to confront James, not only to protect himself but also to protect the two others.

‘It was a hopeless mismatch, he was unarmed, he was 18-years of age and he was facing a man who we have subsequently heard had a history of violence and had experience as a professional bare knuckle fighter.

‘The evidence suggests that even with him knifed by at least one of the two fatal wounds he suffered, he continued to try and stand up to Lee James.

‘But he was literally cut to pieces by Lee James who went on to stab a third man, fortunately not as seriously.’

Lee JamesJudge Pitts said James (pictured left) had a ‘propensity towards violence’ and at times appeared to ‘positively enjoy violence and get a buzz out of it’.

‘He is a man who has had a significant history of taking class A drugs including crack, heroin and cannabis. His drug of choice is cocaine, which he consumes a very considerable quantity of from time to time.

‘It certainly seems to me that it has an effect on his ability to control himself and exacerbates his propensity and enjoyment of violence.’

In a victim impact statement, Faridon’s father Habib Alizada said he ‘felt like a storm had come over him’ since his son’s death.

Mr Alizada said he had been ‘distressed to hear his son referred to as 'Fighter’ and to Al Qaeda, as these were the reasons he took his family away from Afghanistan.

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