In the early hours of 18 September 1994, Atek Hussain, 32, was returning home after a long day’s work at the family restaurant in Surrey.

After dropping off a couple off employees in Poplar, he finally arrived at the house he shared with his wife and three children in Burnels Avenue, East Ham, at around 2.35am.

As he got out of his blue Vauxhall Cavalier, Atek was attacked by at least two men and stabbed in the heart.

Atek’s car

He staggered to his front door and rang the doorbell before stumbling to a nearby phone box to raise the alarm.

Atek’s family, woken by the noise, ran out to pull him inside. He managed to tell them that his attackers were Asian before collapsing.

Atek’s daughter Yasmin, now aged 30, said in a statement: “Dad was soaked in blood. We somehow managed to bring him in. His voice began to fade.

“I put my dad’s head in my lap. He was so breathless, he kept on saying ‘let me go to sleep’. He was struggling with me as I told him he needed to stay awake, I couldn’t let him sleep.

“Then I heard the ambulance coming and more police cars. They told me to go upstairs. I stared at my Dad’s face which was turning blue.

“I went back to my bedroom window and opened it wide, desperately trying to see my dad.

“I saw him on a stretcher and his eyes were closed; he was being taken away.”

A witness recalled seeing at least two Asian men running in the direction of Hameway. Another potential clue was a denim jacket found in the churchyard of St Mary Magdalene in Norman Road, close to the scene of the murder.

The jacket found nearby

Detectives believe the motive for the attack may have been a planned robbery, as Atek had around £1,000 in takings from the Warlingham Tandoori restaurant that night.

However no cash was stolen and the only item thought to be missing was a bag of laundry that Atek was carrying.

Five men were arrested during the initial police investigation but nobody was ever charged and the case remains unsolved.

On the 20th anniversary of his death in 2014, homicide detectives with the Metropolitan Police launched a fresh appeal for help.

Twenty years is a long time and things change. Perhaps you, or someone you know, were on the periphery of what happened that night. Was the motive to steal cash but did things get out of hand? Have you heard anything about this incident over the years? Allegiances change and it may be that someone who didn’t feel they could come forward at the time is now prepared to do so. For the sake of Atek’s family we would ask anyone who can help to please get in touch.

A/DI Chris Pattrick, of the Met Police, speaking in 2014

Atek’s daughter Yasmin also appealed for help as she paid tribute to her father as friendly, kind-hearted man who was devoted to his family and would go out of his way to help others.

She said: “Every moment of our lives we think about our dad because we know whoever did this to him is still somewhere and not been given justice for the hole they have left in our lives.

“We need help from every person possible to help us go back 20 years and think for a second if they remember anything. We are sure someone must know something and have a very deep secret they are repenting.”

Atek with his wife Khudeja and their three children, who were then aged ten, seven and eight months

Recalling life after her father’s death, Yasmin added: “I had to stop being a child the day Dad died and grow up. I had to look after my mum, who didn’t know any English, and my brothers.

“We couldn’t go back to our family home where the murder had happened and stayed with a mixture of relatives for the first year. Everything was a mess, our whole world had collapsed. I had to get a part-time job at 13 to help ease the cost of living as it was such as struggle.

“But most importantly we missed him. We missed his love, support, his jokes, his cheery demeanour. Our mother was 29 when she became a widow. Her love for our father was unyielding, therefore she never did marry again. My brothers were left without a father figure to guide them through their youth, to help them grow up.”

Yasmin added: “Why would anyone want to kill a loving person? Why would anyone want to make our mum a widow at 29? And take the shelter of our father from us and take our rock from us? Every day we live we will not rest until we find out dad’s killers.

“My dad had wanted us to be educated and successful so we could look after him and mum in their old age. We have succeeded and fulfilled our dad’s dream. The determination to achieve this was even greater due to the circumstances and we hope we have made him very proud. Ideally we would like him back to celebrate this with him, however finding his killers would be second best.”

Contact the police incident room on 020 8345 3775 or make an anonymous call to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Support murdermap

We rely on subscriptions and donations to fund the website.
Sign up for just £5 per year.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *